High vacuum – an insight into modern industry

High vacuum – never heard of it, why do you need it? Here is an insight into the important technology of the (high) vacuum, without which a modern life as we know it today would not be possible.

What is (high) vacuum?

There is a pressure of 1013 mbar in our atmosphere – when the pressure is reduced in a system, we speak of a vacuum. But here too there are subdivisions into several print areas. The lower the pressure, the “higher” or “better” the vacuum becomes. A distinction is made between negative pressure (vacuum cleaning or vacuum packaging), rough vacuum (old light bulbs), fine vacuum (freeze-drying) and high vacuum (electron tubes, electron microscopes) to ultra-high vacuum.

The generation of high vacuum

Vacuum is created with pumps that are not actually pumps, but are only called this way. Strictly speaking, these are densities. This means that these pumps move air molecules that get into the pump out of the (vacuum) chamber. As a result, the pressure in the chamber becomes less and less. To generate high vacuum, you need a system that consists of two pumps: a backing pump and a so-called turbomolecular pump.

Special features of the high vacuum

An important term is the so-called mean free path. It describes the distance that a gas particle can travel on its way without colliding with other gas particles.

Let us remember – vacuum pumps are compressors, they can only transport molecules out of the chamber that get into the pump. When there is normal pressure, the air molecules collide very often because the mean free path is only approx. 68nm. For comparison: an average human hair is about 1000 times as thick. Since the molecules collide very often, even thin lines (e.g. 1/2 inch = 12.7mm) and small connections are flowed through quickly and well. This way, the molecules get to the pump quickly.

The further the pressure drops, the fewer molecules are in the chamber and the longer the mean free path. In a high vacuum, it is between 10 centimeters and one kilometer. For this reason, the molecules collide less and in order to get to the pump quickly, the connections to the valves must be very large (see sketch). That is why SMC offers sizes up to 160 mm nominal diameter (= inner diameter).

What do you need high vacuum for?

Products that are produced in a high vacuum can be found almost everywhere in our everyday life. We have summarized some examples for you here:

  • Coatings: An important process that only works in a high vacuum is physical vapor deposition. It is used in the manufacture of microchips, CDs and DVDs. An extremely clean environment is important here, since particles are a big problem.
    Further application examples: coating of tools, foils (food industry, glasses, cars, jewelry, …)
  • Electron microscope: Instead of a light beam, the electron microscope uses an electron beam. Since electrons are very small, they would be deflected by air molecules – so the microscope needs high vacuum to function.
  • Leakage tests: refrigerators, air cooling, heat pumps, braking systems, airbags and much more. Many systems have to be checked for leaks, since leaks have devastating consequences for our safety, health or the environment. These leak tests can only be carried out in a high vacuum, where even the smallest leaks cannot be overlooked.
  • Analytics: An example from analytics is the mass spectrometer. It measures the mass of atoms or molecules (atomic weight) after they are converted into the gas phase and ionized. If the pressure were too high, the ions would collide with air molecules and could not reach the detector. In addition, free ions and electrons could not be generated without a high vacuum and the life of the device would be drastically shortened.
    Examples of use: Examination of substances in the body in medicine and criminal technology and in doping controls, analysis of environmental toxins, warfare agents and explosives and much more.

SMC high vacuum valves impress with their high quality and service life. They meet high sealing standards and are extremely corrosion-resistant. Here you will find all products for pneumatic, electromagnetic and manual drives.

Fitting für aggressive Chemikalien von SMC

The fitting that leaves nothing to chance – ideal for aggressive chemicals

When aggressive acids, bases or other dangerous chemicals are transported through a system, problems usually occur at the weakest link: the connector, also known as a fitting. The LQ3 system from SMC is the gold standard among fittings.

How fit is your fitting?

Fitting is one of the most important areas when it comes to the safe transport of aggressive chemicals. If defects occur here, the safety and health of the employees can be endangered. In addition, there is of course the material damage that leaking chemicals such as highly concentrated hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid or ammonia can cause.

For this reason, checking and maintaining these connections between valves, filters, pumps and hoses requires a great deal of attention and time. You have to make sure that the fitting is absolutely leak-free.

Fitting from SMC: Safe and uncomplicated

The LQ3 system from SMC ensures absolute tightness. And saves a lot of time with its patented, well thought-out design.

But what are the biggest problems and risks with fittings? First of all, of course, leaks. When the temperatures in the medium rise, the hose naturally expands. This can loosen the nut, the hose slide down and chemicals are released.

SMC has solved this problem: The LQ3 system is absolutely tight even with temperature fluctuations from 20 ° C to 200 ° C. The hose made of high-quality plastic naturally expands when the temperature rises. But unlike conventional systems, a clamping ring pulls the hose back into the correct position so that there are no leaks.

The gold standard for fittings

Instead of a normal thread, every fitting from SMC has a trapezoidal thread. The defined mounting position ensures that the nut stays in place in any case. It is simply tightened to the end stop during assembly and it can be checked at a glance whether everything has been assembled correctly.

Even after transport by ship or plane, there is no need to retighten the nuts. Our customers can easily set up and start up their system at their destination. The often enormous expenditure of time for checking is no longer necessary, as is lengthy maintenance during operation.

Since in many cases the parts are very complex and installed in the smallest of spaces, a large part of the system would often have to be dismantled for maintenance – and only to make sure that the nuts are properly seated. Our customers save this effort. By the way, they often compare the LQ3 system with the Gardena system because it is so simple, uncomplicated and safe.

Find the right fittings immediately: the LQ3 configurator

Anyone who has ever looked for the right product number in an online catalog will particularly appreciate our LQ3 configurator. Here you will find all product details at a glance and can immediately look up which fitting is the right one. It’s best to try it yourself!

Note: The macros must be allowed when opening the configurator.

Lasertemperierung von SMC

Laser temperature control: nothing gets too hot

Lasers stand for the highest precision, in industry as well as in medicine. Cooling devices that ensure constant temperatures during lasering have to work just as precisely. Laser temperature control from SMC offers stability, proven quality and global support.

Heat is generated when lasering. Even if the laser beam itself is temperature neutral – the movement of tiny particles generates heat all around. This begins in the laser device itself, where the laser beam is guided through various, precisely adjusted optical lenses.

A thermal expansion of the base plate would change the alignment of the optical components. The laser could no longer work exactly. Cooling or temperature control is an important part of any laser process.

Lasers in industry and medicine

Laser devices are used in many areas today. They drill, cut, weld, label, engrave and treat surfaces according to special requirements. In industry, lasers are used wherever machining reaches its limits. Fiber or gas lasers are particularly common here.

Diode lasers are used in medicine. So-called ultrashort pulse lasers do not emit permanent light, but set ultrashort light pulses in the femtosecond range. Because the individual impulses are only so short, they can be dosed much higher without causing damage. This is important, for example, in eye surgery or for micromachining in the semiconductor industry.

Lasertemperierung von SMCLaser temperature control from SMC Stable laser power, sensitive materials and longer service life of the devices

“Laser” is a short word made up of the first letters of “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. So it’s about amplifying light through intensified radiation.

Laser temperature control is also about the stability of the laser power. Because the wavelength of the laser depends on the temperature.

Stable temperature conditions extend the life of the sensitive laser devices, the laser diodes and the laser generator. Exact temperature control also increases the up-time, which means it prevents failures and ensures stable availability.

Just think of laser eye surgery. The laser may only act on the sensitive tissue to the extent that the cornea is to be removed. But processing sensitive components also requires precision. The smallest components must fit exactly, the edges and the surrounding material must not change.

Laser temperature control from SMC

Temperature control units from SMC were developed for use in sensitive environments. Thanks to their flexibility, our chillers adapt to a wide variety of requirements. For example, installation in standardized 19-inch racks is possible without any problems.

SMC devices are suitable for different voltages and frequency ranges and can therefore be used worldwide. Customers around the world appreciate our global support.

Complete solutions for every requirement

Thanks to the wide range of products, SMC can offer complete solutions for process optimization. In addition to temperature control, this includes cooling water distribution, flow monitoring, ensuring the cooling function and early detection of process changes. This guarantees our customers process reliability and productivity.

Process quality and precision are a matter of course at SMC. Our years of experience in high-end environments guarantee components that meet the highest demands.

Communication for Industry 4.0

Digital inputs and outputs as well as serial communication allow connection to the most modern industrial environments.
Whether you want to address our chillers via your control system or have control messages read out via the existing system – with SMC you are prepared for Industry 4.0.

Back suction valve

Suck-back unit: the suction valve that never drips

No dripping, exact dosing – combined suck back valves from SMC are the solution for delicate liquids and perfect processes.

Liquids are valuable in analysis technology. Often dangerous in the semiconductor industry. Dripping valves are out of place here. SMC has developed reliable suck back valves that can be dosed particularly precisely. Individual drops have no chance of escaping.
It is similar to a faucet: If liquid flows through an outlet, one last drop still remains after turning it off. Often there is also repeated dripping.

The last drop can do a lot

This can have serious consequences in the semiconductor industry. Not only that you are dealing with aggressive liquids that are harmful even in the smallest droplets. Sensitive electronic components can be damaged by the pressure of an uncontrolled falling drop.

But even in medical analysis processes, not a single drop is allowed to become independent. During the analysis of blood or urine samples, additive test liquids must of course be supplied in absolutely exact quantities. Any deviation can affect the result. And with particularly small amounts of liquid, half the sample can be lost through a wasted drop.

Play Video about Back suction valve

Back suction valve prevents dripping

A so-called suck-back valve ensures that residual liquid is sucked back before it can escape. This prevents dripping. Such valves are state of the art in the semiconductor industry and are also often used in medical technology.

But back-suction valves from SMC can do even more. As a specialist in automation solutions and an experienced partner to industry, SMC can offer a wide range of components for valve and control technology – and combine them perfectly.

Precise dosing through combined valve unit

The valve unit from SMC consists of the actual suck back valve and an on / off valve. This combination is unique and allows a much more precise dosage than is possible with conventional suck back valves.

Not only can the back suction and flow rate be set exactly. The opening and closing speed of the valves can also be precisely regulated using special throttles. This prevents impacts from occurring in the medium.

Perfect processes right through to the end

The exact settings guarantee you a permanently closed liquid column after switching off. The media column is interrupted in a controlled manner and nothing is lost. This is how you achieve perfect processes right through to the end of the dispensing process.

Would you like to know more about combined back suction valves from SMC? Our experts will be pleased to advise you.

Manifolds von SMC

Manifolds: The space-saving distribution solution

Custom-made multiple distributors made of plastic save space, are light and easy to use.
Many components in a confined space? This requirement is part of everyday life in medical technology. With tailor-made manifolds, SMC offers a tried-and-tested solution that is particularly suitable for limited space.

Clever plastic blocks have it all

These intelligent multiple distributors consist of individually configurable plastic blocks that are individually tailored to your needs. No matter what applications you need them for – we adapt the manifolds exactly.
A wide variety of cables can be safely and clearly accommodated in the integrated channels – and in a much smaller space than would be possible with hoses. In addition to the channels, we can easily incorporate different reservoirs and various connections.

Easy to use, little maintenance

Efficient use of space is just one advantage that manifolds from SMC offer you. The versatile plastic blocks are not only compact and space-saving, they are also particularly light. Depending on the respective requirement, they are made of acrylic (PMAA) or other plastics such as PVC, PSU, PEI or PEEK.
Installation and handling take less time than for conventional distribution solutions. And the lower maintenance effort naturally also reduces your running costs.

Proven solutions and extensive accessories

We always want to offer our customers the best solutions. To do this, we are constantly developing our products further and adapting them to the requirements of everyday analysis.
In our complete range you will find extensive accessories, valves, regulators, fittings, pressure gauges as well as sensors and switches for pressure and flow.
Are you interested in custom manifolds? Our experts will be pleased to advise you!

The SMC branches: always close to you

Wherever you are, we are always there for you. In addition to our branch in Austria, we also have four further SMC branches with fluid control specialists in the CEE region:

SMC Industrial Automation CZ s.r.o.

SMC Industrial Automation CZ s.r.o.
Hudcova 78a, CZ-61200 Brno, Czech Republic
Phone: +420-5-414-24611
Fax: +420-5-412-18034

Link google maps

SMC Hungary Kft.

SMC Hungary Kft.
Torbágy utca 15-19
H-2045 Törökbálint
Phone: +36 23 513 000
Fax: +36 23 513 001

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ul. Stefana Batorego 10A
Pass, 05-870 Blonie
Phone: (+48) 22 344 40 00
Fax: (+48) 22 344 40 05

SMC Blonie
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Mirnska cesta 7
SI-8210 Trebnje
Phone: +386 (0)7 38 85 412
Fax: +386 (0)7 38 85 435
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