This post is sort of a update on something 'quick and dirty' that I built for my day job. We needed to have a thermal chamber that we could flow gas through at an elevated temperature with the chamber holding samples of various materials. The cost of this project was to be kept to a minimum and there was no time during the work day to build it so I did it at home. Generally I don't like to work 'offline' on my own time but this seemed like a fun project so I built it. I'm putting this up online as reference only and I don't recommend that you build one unless you know what you are doing! (not to imply that I do).
There are a few things to consider after realizing that this isn't a big budget project:
- How to make a gas tight enclosed chamber that is thermally robust and chemically inert?
- How to heat that chamber to a predetermined temperature and keep it there?
- How can you see what is going on inside the chamber without opening it up and letting the gas out?
|D.I.Y. Thermal Test Chamber|
Fortunately we had several types and sizes of stainless steel Sanitary Fittings laying around and a temperature controller isn't that expensive (but it did consume the entire budget!). Sanitary Fittings are used mostly in the food industry as pipes to flow potable liquids (like milk, beer, water etc..) because they don't connect with threads and are easy to keep clean. They have flat flanged face seals that are held together with clamps so you can easily take them apart and clean them.