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17 September 2007 Design of asymmetrically loaded end-plates with vacuum seal surfaces for the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer
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Abstract
Engineering specifications for O-ring seal surfaces are well documented. However, when seal surfaces are located on asymmetrically loaded vacuum end-plates, consideration must be given not only to surface finish and flatness, but also to load-induced deflections. When deflections are significant, O-ring compression can relax and potentially cause vacuum leaks. Large vacuum systems, such as the 9000 cubic foot system at the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI), cannot afford costly vacuum leaks due to improper end-plate design. The NPOI employs vacuum end-plates that serve both as structural members, and as vacuum system entrance and exit ports for stellar light. These ports consist of vacuum components attached directly to the end-plate via static O-ring sealing techniques. Optical geometry dictates off-center port locations, which create asymmetric end-plate loading. This paper details the behavior of a 22 inch diameter, multi-port, end-plate for the NPOI Fast Delay Line subsystem. In depth CAD modeling and finite element analysis techniques were used to determine load-induced stress distributions and deflections in the end-plate. After several design iterations, an end-plate design was substantiated that maintains vacuum seal integrity under loading, exhibits a conservative factor of safety, and is readily manufacturable.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joshua P. Walton, James H. Clark III, and F. Ernesto Penado "Design of asymmetrically loaded end-plates with vacuum seal surfaces for the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer", Proc. SPIE 6665, New Developments in Optomechanics, 666513 (17 September 2007); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.733962
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