Vacuum manifold

Exhibit no. 311

A vacuum manifold encloses the mass spectrometer components operating at reduced pressure.

It is usually a thick-walled, aluminum alloy or stainless-steel container with a removable top cover plate, machined flanges on the front, sides, and bottom, and various electrical feedthroughs and gas inlets. The vacuum manifold can be divided into several chambers that maintain various levels of low pressure.  Elastomer O-ring seals are often used to prevent air leaks into the vacuum manifold.

The exhibit is a vacuum manifold from HP 5972 Series Mass Selective Detector (GC/MS) manufactured by Hewlett-Packard in 1993. It housed the ion source, quadrupole, and electron multiplier. The vacuum manifold was machined from an aluminum alloy and its large opening was covered by a stainless steel top plate. The ion source-analyzer-detector assembly was suspended from the top plate inside the manifold. A diffusion pump was clamped to a large KF50 flange at the rear. Above the diffusion pump flange was an internal baffle, which prevented pump-fluid vapor from migrating toward the analyzer. Any liquid that condensed on the baffle was returned to the pump.

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