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Edwards has designed and delivered 14 bespoke vacuum carts to the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source, on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire.

The carts provide mobile high-vacuum pumping stations for the synchrotron’s beamlines to help create the optimum vacuum conditions required by researchers.

They also have the capability to be fitted with residual gas analysers (RGAs) to analyse the integrity of the vacuum in the beamlines.

The mobile ‘plug and go’ unit enables researchers can avoid the cost and space requirements of numerous fixed mechanical pumping stations on each beamline.

Evacuating and venting the beamlines using the carts helps to ensure the cleanliness of the systems and so helps to achieve vacuum pressures less than 5 x 10-9mbar in the beamlines.

Each Edwards cart comprises an EXTTM225H compound molecular vacuum pump, an XDSTM10 dry-scroll pump used as the backing pump and a combination of active Pirani vacuum, active inverted magnetron and active wide-range gauges.

These are enclosed in a cart designed to meet the specific size and orientation requirements of the Diamond beamlines, which can be wheeled around the beamlines or to other locations as required.

Edwards designers and production engineers worked with Diamond’s specification, such as the cart dimensions, the orientation of the inlet vacuum ports, along with guidelines for position of general service ports such as compressed air, power and nitrogen for venting to come up with a suitable cart design.

Edwards has also supplied conversion kits to enable vacuum carts it had previously supplied to Diamond to be upgraded.

The EXT255H turbomolecular pump uses multi-stage axial-flow turbines combined with magnetic and ceramic bearings to provide hydrocarbon- and vibration-free ultra-high vacuum with ultimate pressure down to 5 x10-9 mbar.

The XDS10 acts as the backing pump, delivering low pressure combined with a high-volume flow rate of up to 10m3/hr.

Its design isolates the vacuum environment from any type of lubricant and protects the bearing from any process vapours.

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