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How to Properly Maintain O-Ring Grooves and Sealing Surfaces in High Vacuum and Ultra High Vacuum Chamber Systems

by | Jan 26, 2023

Removing process deposition and residue from damaged O-rings on O-ring grooves without scratching the surface is critical in achieving high vacuum conditions. Many techs now use clean room wipers wrapped around metal Allen wrenches to clean residue and particles on O-ring grooves. Some techs may use their fingers to clean as well in an attempt to avoid scratching, but this method is very inefficient at removing caked-on residues.

Preventive maintenance is essential for achieving and maintaining high vacuum conditions. One critical aspect of this maintenance is cleaning high vacuum sealing surfaces, such as O-rings and O-ring grooves. These surfaces are subject to process deposition and residue buildup, which can damage the O-rings and compromise the seal. This can lead to leaks, increased pump-down time, inducing new foreign particles from the atmosphere, and many other issues that can negatively impact the vacuum system’s performance.

To remove heavy caked on build-up from O-ring grooves, many technicians use clean room wipers wrapped around metal Allen wrenches to clean residue and particles from O-ring grooves. While this method can be effective, it can also be time-consuming and labor-intensive, and it can also risk scratching the surfaces of the O-ring grooves. Also, given that the Allen wrench puts a lot of stress on wipers, the shedding of particles and fibers from wipers is prevalent when using this procedure. Particles left in the O-ring groove can interfere with the proper seating of the O-ring, causing leaks and deterioration of the O-ring.

Results of using MiraSWAB to clean O-ring grooves on gate valve after the O-ring groove had previously been cleaned with polyester wipers.

Foamtec International offers a range of products that improve preventive maintenance on high vacuum sealing surfaces. The company’s MiraWIPE, MiraSWAB, and ScrubTIPS products are specially designed to remove process deposition and residue from damaged O-rings and O-ring grooves without scratching the surface.

MiraWIPE is a cleanroom wiper that is specifically designed for use in high vacuum applications. The wiper is made from a unique microfiber fabric that can effectively remove particles and residue from O-ring grooves without scratching the surface. It can also be used to apply high vacuum greases such as Fomblin® High Vacuum Greases on O-rings instead of gloved hands or general cleanroom wiper to ensure no particles are introduced on the O-rings during the action.

MiraSWAB is a cleanroom microfiber swab designed for heavy-duty cleaning of O-ring grooves. It is ideal for removing caked-on residues from gate-valve seals exposed to the atmosphere. The MiraSWAB is production-proven to remove particles and residue from O-ring grooves without scratching the surface.

For O-ring grooves that have heavy, baked-on residue from damaged O-rings, ScrubTIPS made from Foamtec’s industry-leading ScrubPAD technology are ideal for returning the O-ring groove to like-new conditions.

In conclusion, to achieve and maintain high vacuum conditions, it is essential to perform preventive maintenance on high vacuum sealing surfaces. Using Foamtec International’s MiraWIPE, MiraSWAB, and ScrubTIPS can improve this maintenance by effectively removing process deposition and residue from O-ring grooves without scratching the surface. This can help to reduce leaks, improve performance, and prolong the life of the O-rings and high vacuum conditions.

MiraWIPE
https://www.foamtecintlwcc.com/products/cleanroom-wipes/microfiber/

MiraSWAB
https://www.foamtecintlwcc.com/products/cleanroom-swabs/microfiber/miraswab

ScrubTIPS
https://www.foamtecintlwcc.com/products/vacuum-chamber-cleaning/abrasive-pads-and-accessories/scrubtip

For more information:

Website: www.foamtecintlwcc.com

Email: contact@foamtecintlwcc.com