Improve surface finishes with our in-house cleaning capabilities
High quality standards require our focus on continuous improvement of maintaining in-house design and manufacturing capabilities. Nor-Cal Products offers a variety of services to support our quality culture such as innovative design, precision manufacturing, and adherence to exacting quality metrics. A couple in-house quality-based services we pride ourselves in is our chem-line cleaning and electropolishing capabilities.
Nor-Cal Products offers tumbling, bead blasting, chemical cleaning and electropolishing of vacuum components in-house. Tumbling in ceramic media deburrs components, such as weld fittings, while providing a uniform finish. Glass shot cleans, hones, polishes and peens while removing scale. Some customers request bead blast on exterior surfaces with electropolish on the interior.
In the chemical cleaning process all parts are cleaned with a biodegradable detergent to remove machine lubricants. The stainless steel component is then passivated in a light acid solution to remove weld scale. Chemical cleaning is typically used for production parts such as valve bodies or "process critical" parts fabricated for semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Finally, all parts are washed and rinsed in >10 MOhm deionized water and dried with clean, dry air filtered to .05 micron. Cleaned parts are immediately packaged and sealed in clean room bags which meets or exceeds cleanliness requirements of IEST-STD CC 1246D Level 100. Special cleaning recipes can be provided to our customer's specifications.
Electropolishing is by far the most desirable cleaning process for stainless steel vacuum components. This electrochemical process benefits the finished part in a number of ways simultaneously. Deburring, passivation and stress relieving are achieved while the machine produced surface roughness is eroded. Electropolishing attacks the microscopic "peaks" of the surface more rapidly than the "valleys", thereby maintaining critical dimensions while improving surface finishes. Normally .0003 to .0004 inch is removed to lower the micro-finish from 32 to 8 RMS. Electropolishing results in a 90% friction decrease over a similar microfinish achieved mechanically, while surface area is reduced by a similar amount. This is most important for vacuum chambers because it produces faster pumpdown and higher conductance. In addition to the improved mechanical properties of the surface, iron is removed electrochemically. This leaves the surface rich in chromium and nickel, which have extremely low vapor pressures. The result is the lowest outgassing rates possible from stainless steel. Our electropolishing processes meet ASTM Specification A967 for Chemical Passivation Treatments for Stainless Steel Parts and ASTM Specification B913 for Passivation of Stainless Steels Using Electropolishing standards.
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