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Our Facilities

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Torr Scientific services

Joining:

  • Vacuum brazing
  • TIG welding
  • Glass-to-metal seals
  • Adhesive bonding
  • Diffusion bonding
  • Glass work

Coating:

  • Magnetron sputtering and reactive magnetron sputtering
  • E-beam coating of dielectrics and metals
  • Phosphor screen manufacture
  • Thermal evaporation
  • Filament thoriation

Custom Marking:

  • Laser engraver

 

Vacuum:

  • Vacuum furnace treatments
  • Vacuum bakeout and conditioning with RGA
  • Helium leak checking

Metrology:

  • UV-vis-NIR dual-beam spectrophotometer
  • FTIR spectrometer
  • White-light interferometer surface profiler
  • Shadowgraph
  • Digital stereo microscope
  • FEG scanning electron microscope
  • Four-point probe sheet resistance meter

Precision Machine Shop:

  • CNC lathe
  • CNC mill

 

TSL, Torr Scientific Ltd Factory

Factory

Torr Scientific relocated to a modern 410 m2 factory in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex in August 2009. A 270 m2 first floor extension was completed in October 2011 increasing floor space at the Sussex manufacturing site to 690 m2. A second adjoining factory and cleanroom was built in 2015 expanding floor space to over 1200m2.

Clean room, cleanroom

Cleanrooms

In order that we can supply our customers with contamination-free products for UHV applications, the company invested in 110 m2 cleanroom to provide a laboratory manufacturing facility in which thin-film coatings and hermetic seals are processed, and where UHV and optical instrumentation is assembled, inspected and packed. A second clean room is now operational and is where anode coatings are deposited and phosphor screens are brushed.

Vacuum furnace, vacuum brazing

Sputter Coaters

TSL have recently acquired a brand new dual magnetron sputter deposition system, supplied, installed and commissioned by Moorfield Nanotechnology Ltd. The system has an integrated plasma cleaning facility for enhanced adhesion of thin films. The instrument is computer controlled. Mass flow controllers allow precise metering of sputter gases as well as reactive gases for reactive sputtering. Introducing a reactive gas such as oxygen allows metals sputtered from a metallic target to be reactively deposited as oxides, with the stoichiometry (atomic ratios) controlled by the rate of gas delivery and deposition parameters. We are in the process of configuring the system to take over some of the dielectric coating duties currently performed by e‐beam. The new system joins several other sputter systems at TSL and will eventually be employed to deposit the thicker films needed for IR applications.

TIG welding

UV-vis-IR and FTIR spectrometers

TSL recently acquired a new UV-vis-NIR spectrophotometer. The Cary 5000 has a wide spectral range, covering the wavelength spectrum from 175 nm to 3300 nm. The dual-beam configuration allows absolute measurements to be made and compensates for variations in the source brightness. Its main use is measuring the optical performance of our vacuum viewports with anti-reflective coatings. It is also used to help calibrate coating processes and to characterize optical materials and coatings. The sample chamber is large enough to accommodate our more frequently manufactured viewports, but it is also adaptable for the substantially larger viewports that we manufacture less often.  We have a near-normal reflectance accessory, so measurements can be made of both reflectance and transmittance as required. Its sister instrument, an Agilent Cary 630 FTIR extends our measurement capability to around 27 µm, well into the mid infrared. It can scan across the entire wavelength range in just a few seconds.

helium leak tester, helium leak testing

White-Light Interferometer

TSL’s optical inspection capability includes a Zygo Zegage white-light interferometer surface profiler. The profiler enables highly accurate non‐destructive examination of surfaces to check thicknesses and uniformity of  X-ray anode coatings and surface roughness of components. The interferometer provides a high level of quality control.
The powerful built-in data filters allowed characterization of a plasma etch pattern with a depth of just 2.7 nm (right). In the as‐acquired scan (left), the pattern was undetectable, being obscured by the curvature of the component.
SPIP image analysis software further strengthens our data analysis capabilities.

air flow cabinet

Shadowgraph

TSL has recently invested in a new shadowgraph profile projector for the factory. It is used by our inspectors to check a wide variety of parts quickly and accurately, saving time and improving productivity.
A beam of parallel light, produced by a lamp along with a system of condensers, lenses and mirrors is used to create and project a shadow of the test piece onto a built-in projection screen. The optical system magnifies the profile of the small part, making it easy to do measurements. The process is non-contact so is suitable for delicate parts.

Vacuum furnace, vacuum brazing

CNC-Controlled MDM-100 Mill

The TSL precision machine shop houses an MDM-100 mill and MDL-1800 lathe, both CNC‐controlled and supplied by Mach Machine Tools. In addition to welding, helium leak testing, cleaning and inspection facilities, the facility manufactures components and small UHV chambers to custom design.

TIG welding

CNC‐Controlled MDL-1800 Lathe

CAD Engineering drawings are produced around customer requirements and issued for customer approval before manufacturing proceeds.

helium leak tester, helium leak testing

Vacuum Furnace

The vacuum furnace at TSL is used for high-temperature joining processes in the manufacture of X-ray anodes and of fused silica and sapphire UHV viewports. We have a variety of joining processes, both metal-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal.  We can also perform specialist vacuum furnace runs to the particular specification of the customer. The furnace, supplied by Specnow Ltd., has a hot zone four times larger than previous furnaces at TSL. The system incorporates Specnow’s Microlink control system with data management and logging.

air flow cabinet

E-beam Coater

The e-beam vacuum coating system is used predominantly to deposit multilayer anti-reflective coatings. TSL upgraded the electronic control units on the e-beam system in 2009 in partnership with Ferrotec, specialists in electron beam evaporator equipment. The upgrade made possible improvements in the efficiency and reliability of the anti-reflective coating process. Coatings from our standard range can be applied to viewports, or bespoke coatings can be designed and applied to meet specific customer requirements.

e-beam, AR coating, anti-reflective coatings, VAR coating, WAR coating, BBAR coating, broadband coatings

Laminar Flow Cabinets

Cleaning and assembly of UHV instrumentation takes place in laminar flow cabinets in cleanroom conditions.

Laser viewport, laser optics, laser vacuum optic. Laser UHV window, laser UHV viewport, laser vacuum viewport, VAR, BBAR, anti-reflective coating, broadband coating, V coating, filter wheel, attenuation wheel

Leak Testers

TSL has a new state-of-the-art Leybold Quadro helium leak detector. The mulicoloured touch screen and intuitive menus facilitate efficient and reliable leak checking of hermetic components such as viewports and X-ray anodes.

This instrument joins the existing Inficon UL 1000 helium leak checker.

Both instruments have a 180° sector field mass spectrometer as detector and can each detect helium leaks as small as 5 x 10-12 mbar L s-1.

Vacuum furnace, vacuum brazing

Glass-to-metal seals

TSL has extended its vacuum window processing capabilities to include production of glass‐to‐metal seals. The facility allows further development of the wide range of vacuum optical components offered by the company. OEM and non-standard enquiries are also welcome. The glass shop is equipped with an induction heater that enables the company to develop its range of glass vacuum windows, feedthroughs and OEM requirements for encapsulation of X‐ray and photonic components. The induction heater complements the vacuum brazing techniques employed in the production of much of the vacuum optic range of products.
The glass shop team has a wealth of skills in glass blowing, working and joining.

TIG welding

TIG Welder

TSL has a TIG welding facility complete with a turntable. All viewports are welded within the company allowing full quality control over the complete viewport manufacturing process. Weld rings in kovar, stainless steel and non-magnetic titanium and tantalum are welded in to 304L, 316LN and titanium flanges.

Vacuum furnace, vacuum brazing

Vapour Degreasing System

TSL has recently commissioned a new Solvac S1 Compact Vapour Degreasing System. A reservoir of low-boiling-point solvent is heated and rises into the vapour headspace. Near the top is a condenser region where a jets of cold air condenses any vapour and returns the liquid solvent to the reservoir via a filtration system. In a fully automated, user-programmed cleaning cycle, the components are lowered in a basket into the liquid solvent where they undergo ultrasound agitation. As the basket is lifted, the parts are further rinsed in the solvent vapour. As the parts progress above the condenser region they should be fully solvent-free.
The new system liberates our technicians from the slow and laborious system of water-based ultrasonic tanks that were the standard procedure prior to its arrival.

TIG welding

FEG Scanning Electron Microscope

TSL has a Hitachi S4000 scanning electron microscope with FEG (field-effect gun) for higher resolution.

Vacuum furnace, vacuum brazing

Laser Engraver

TSL has recently invested in a new XL Fibre Marking System. It is used to mark our viewports and all subcomponents with batch numbers for traceability purposes.
The machine is a fibre laser engraving machine fitted with rotating chuck for radial engraving. It was found that for standard smaller footprint machines available on the market, typically a CF100 viewport is the largest size viewport that can be engraved radially. This is due to a combination of the small Ø100mm standard chuck and lack of Z-axis travel of the laser head to reach the required focal distance when marking larger parts in the standard configuration.
Therefore this machine has a bespoke design to allow radial engraving of large viewport flanges up to CF250 size. This is achieved by utilising a 360 degrees rotating laser head. Flat parts can still be engraved by the conventional method. However, the head can be rotated through 90 degrees and vertical marking can be achieved. This also gives us the ability to mark difficult shapes without losing focus of the laser beam.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us


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