CE Facilities: Materials and Environmental Test Laboratory
 Central Engineering's newly constructed Materials and Environmental Test Laboratory at Cambridge Discovery Park provides additional resources to support the fabrication and test of hardware under development. Laboratory equipment has been upgraded to to provide improved materials processing, storage, and safety; and new thermal and vacuum equipment provides additional test capabilities.

Materials Processing

Engineering staff have extensive experience in:

  • Electronic board conformal coating.
  • High-voltage encapsulation.
  • Epoxy/urethane component staking.
  • Precision debonding.
  • Precision fixturing for fine-pitch wire winding (used with high-strength ceramic substrates).
  • Manipulation mounting and bonding of ultra-thin lexan, polyimide, and polypropylene aluminized films along with optical elements.
  • Processing and handling of microchannel plates (MCPs) for scientific instrumentation.
  • Silicone rubber bonding and encapsulation.
  • Precision cleaning using spectra-grade solvents (propanol, acetone, methanol, trichloroethylene etc.
  • Epoxy/rubber injection techniques.
  • Support to design engineering in materials and processes evaluation and test.
  • Support to Quality Assurance and Reliability engineering in component and process failure analysis.

Specialized materials processing equipment includes:

  • Small thermal-vacuum conditioning chamber (oil-free pump, electro-polished chamber).
  • Ultrasonic cleaners.
  • Vacuum encapsulation and material outgassing system.
  • Beadblasting system.
  • Large Zeiss microscopic system including linear measurement and photographic capabilities.
  • Metrology instrumentation: surface plates, electronic indicators, etc.
  • Class 100 flow bench and down-flow tent.

Thermal Experiment and Test.

Available equipment includes:

  • Thermal vacuum chamber, with a 2 ft. diameter by 5 ft. long test article accommodation and 12" optical window, equipped with heated LN2 shrouds capable of controlling the internal temperature from -180C to +90C at a vacuum pressure of less than 10-6 torr, and fully instrumented with an expandable 20 channel thermocouple readout and a TQCM (contamination monitor).

  • Programmable environmental chamber for test and thermal cycling of both space and ground- based hardware and instrumentation. Internal environment is controllable from -70C to +180C with relative humidity from 2% to 98%. The stainless-steel lined chamber is maintained at a high cleanliness level to accommodate the needs of sensitive hardware.

  • High temperature (650C) 18" x 18" x 18" internal capacity inert gas oven, for use in glass forming experiments and higher temperature testing and heat treatment of materials in a non-oxidizing environment.

  • Three additional ovens of 1 cubic foot to 3 cubic foot internal capacity, thermally controlled from -60C to 200C.

  Materials Lab
CE Materials and Component Test Laboratory at CDP (Click here for a larger version of the image.)

Section Photo