Process Heating Eliminates Downtime for Medical Equipment Mfr
A medical equipment manufacturer in Concord, CA was developing a 3D X-ray microscope and used liquid nitrogen to preserve their samples for solid imaging. Because of these temperatures, however, the lens used was susceptible to frost, obscuring the view for the digital microscope. A special lens ring was designed and they required a heater to fit within very thin dimensions: 0.375 in (10mm). Pouring liquid nitrogen onto the sample meant that the environment would be chilled rapidly, requiring the heater to respond quickly.
Valin’s Process Heat and Control Technical Specialists worked with the customer’s team to assess their needs and go over the challenges of this particular project.
Our team was able to design and test a solution that would eliminate frost on the lens and would fit in the narrow environment. Our solution consisted of the Chromalox Kapton® heater on a 10mm strip, sensors, heaters and controllers. The Kapton® Thin Flexible Heaters allowed minimal thermal inertia, allowing it to respond to declining temperatures instantaneously. Low temperature pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) was also used to combat the low temperatures and prevented the Kapton® from peeling off.
The issue with the lens frosting up was a major issue for the customer as the entire system would stop working. This cost the company a small fortune in downtime, not to mention frustration. These lenses are very expensive and they needed a solution fast. Valin was able to bring their vast process heating knowledge and design capabilities to the table and solved their problem quickly. We were responsive to their inquiries and worked with the supplier to minimize the lead time as the customer needed this issue fixed as soon as possible. Since we were local, we were capable of interfacing with the customer and examining their parts and challenges in person.