Fall 2008

Research Activities

Instrument makers, electronics techs and engineers are always striving to deliver quality parts and service to our customers. Here are a few examples of research projects that our instrument shop has contributed to this year.

We have made several permeameters, consolidometers and other soil testing assemblies for Professor Craig Benson’s lab in Civil and Environmental Engineering. These were all CNC fabricated projects that had multiple parts made from aluminum and acrylic.

Kim Tan at the Canadian Light Source requested fabrication of stainless steel shims and OFHC rounds. We had made the same parts for him when he was still at SRC. These are UHV parts he uses in his beamline experiments now at Saskatoon.

Two flanges—a conflat and a laser viewport—were made for Imago Scientific to UHV standards for their LEAP microscope line of instruments. Original designs were modified to accommodate the needs of their customers.

When IceCube researcher Jim Green found out another source could not provide a finished product, he asked PSL to fabricate the required fixtures and core barrel. This was an interesting job in that we weren't scheduled to do the fabrication on this so, PSL stepped in with little time remaining and was able to manufacture the parts and assemble them and still make the shipping schedule. Parts had to be manufactured and fixtures had to be made for the assembly so it was more complex than just machining a core barrel.

Chris Bareither, a research assistant in Civil and Environmental Engineering, needed a small scale compression cell for three assemblies for his soils experiment. It was a job requiring a lot of CNC machining on aluminum and stainless steel.

Jim Kern (Geology & GeoPhysics) first asked us to fabricate a blank flange so they could leak check a part of the Ion Probe that has welded bellows thought to be leaking. Then he asked if we could build a crate to ship the assembly back to France for repair. After examining the part, we did a leak check and made recommendations to fix the problem. We disassembled the unit per instructions; leak checked the individual bellows and ended up doing one of our recommendations—machining the flange weldment to provide more clearance for the bellows. After the new bellows arrived from France, we leak checked, installed them and did a final test after assembly. This saved Jim a trip to France and all the shipping and customs costs.


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