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Building a Fusion Reactor (Part 3): Improving the Vacuum Chamber

Soapy Water Test

To test where potential leak sites are and improve our vacuum pressure of 27.5inHg, we used the "Soapy Water Leak Test". This test works by putting powdered soap into the water and spraying the "soapy water" into all the connections. Escaping gas will cause the soap to bubble, thus making it easy to spot the leakage points. However, we forgot to account for the fact that since we were creating a vacuum chamber, gas was not escaping but instead entering. However, the white foam still made it easy to visualize, and even hear, the entering air.

(Video: An example of soapy water entering the system through a loose connection in the newly added throttle valve)

Teflon Tape applied to pressure gauge and vacuum pump connections

After finding leaks in the connections between the throttle valve, pressure gauge, and pump connections, we cleaned out the soap from the parts and tubing. Then we added a layer of white teflon tape to all these connections, but they will be swapped for yellow tape once it becomes available to us!

After these modifications, internal chamber pressure reached 29 inHg, a substantial increase from the 27.5 inHg before. Additionally, JBWeld Epoxy will be added once all pieces are in place!



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