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Next stage…

photo copy 5Reactor chamber ready to be assembled

I thought I should post an update to my project since it’s been a while. I had a “demo party” for my beer can reactor¬†Demon I¬†and have disassembled it to make room for the next version. It will be a completely different chamber and power source, and require a bit more instrumentation.

The photo above shows all the parts necessary to put my reactor chamber together. On the right is the 5-way “T” that I am using as my vacuum chamber. The rest of the parts are the attachment adapters that get bolted on to the pipe openings. Also shown is a set of bolts and nuts, copper gaskets and a tube of bolt grease.

photo copy 4This chamber uses attachment fittings known as Conflat Flanges, or CF flanges. They can be quite expensive but can hold a vacuum many orders of magnitude below what I need, and they are quite common to buy on eBay or order from a vacuum chamber retailer online. They are 2.75 inches in diameter, big enough to work with but not so big they become prohibitively expensive. You can buy huge flanges for big chambers, but the price is likely to be thousands of dollars.

There are 6 bolts on each flange. The proper way to assemble these is to put the copper gasket between each flange and put them together. You then tighten the bolts slowly, cranking a bit on one then on the one directly across from it (shown above). This tightens the flange smoothly all around. You need to use a torque wrench and tighten to 144 inch-pounds for this particular flange. You also need to apply bolt grease to the threads first or the bolts tend to weld to the nuts over time, making it impossible to remove them with a wrench.

photo copy 3My assembled chamber is shown above with the fittings labeled. The only thing not attached is the high voltage feedthrough because I need to attach the tungsten grid for the core and insulate the stem. This chamber has one new fitting that my beer can reactor did not, the deuterium feedthrough. This will be the inlet for the reactor fuel.

Also, today I had a 230 volt single phase plug installed for my monster power supply, shown below.

Coming Next: Nuclear Instrumentation Modules!

photo copy 2


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