[simpits-chat] Lab Work

Brian Sikkema hangr18 at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 6 17:45:37 PST 2003

Ok, totally off topic to everything lately, but I had to brag:

My lab at school got our new vacuum tank today! :) We've purchased a tank specifically for our work with Bismuth-fueled hall thrusters, so we are now working with two large vacuum chambers. Our old tank was one of the top 5 largest vacuum chambers of any university in the nation - 2nd or 3rd, we're not quite sure which yet, nobody in the lab has had a chance to see Princeton's in person but we think theirs MIGHT be a bit larger. 

That was our old tank. 

Our new one is even bigger! :) 6 feet in diameter and 12 feet long (both INNER dimensions), this thing is a monster! And somehow only cost $45,000 for the tank itself, which may sound like a lot, until you learn the second lowest bidder was $140,000, and that's a quite reasonable price. We're not sure how these guys could even MAKE the tank for $45,000. And we got the thing off the truck and into the lab in less than 2 hours!! Fun stuff. One of our guys figured the installation cost the school a couple grand, $300-$350 an hour for a crane which was in our use for probably at least 2 hours (it got there before the tank did), along with several workers running at $30-$40 per hour each. But it's definitely worth it!

I don't have the pictures of the install quite yet, but you can check out our tank on the Trinos (manufacturers) website, http://www.trinos.com/01_index.html Click on the top picture in the left frame, that's our new baby. The picture does NOT do it justice!!

Anyway, will post some install pics when I get them, it's just too cool! :)

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