What makes AML's ultra-high vacuum stepper motors unique?

Posted on Thursday 31st October 2019 at 16:22

What makes AML's ultra-high vacuum stepper motors unique?

Stepper motors are particularly attractive for exact positioning in a vacuum because they can precisely position, even without encoder feedback. Compared to motion feed-throughs, stepper motors offer considerable reductions in mechanical complexity and the absence of particle generation from metal to metal sliding surfaces. Vacuum environments pose considerable challenges when operating any type of electrical devices, including stepper motors.

Conventional stepper motors are not suited for operation in vacuum environments below 1 x 10-4 mBar, due primarily to excessive outgassing. Gas trapped in the materials, coatings and grease expand under vacuum introducing unwanted contaminants into the environment. Heat is also generated while the motor coils are energised and with little gas available to help convect the heat away it can quickly build up, creating large gas loads and damage to the motor.

AML’s extensive 35 years of experience in engineering ultra-high vacuum mechanisms enables us to manufacture stepper motors capable of reliably operating below 1 x 10-10 mBar and at temperatures of up to 200°C.

All of our motors are specifically designed with UHV environments in mind, using only ultra-high vacuum compatible materials and manufacturing processes. Open bearings lubricated with ultra-low outgassing UHV grease are fitted as standard. A temperature sensor is embedded in the winding to enable control of excessive temperature-related outgassing and to lessen the chance of motor damage.

Completely manufactured in the United Kingdom in our ISO Class 7 cleanroom, our motors are vacuum conditioned at 200°C for 48 hours, backfilled with dry Nitrogen and vacuum packed; ready to be integrated directly into your UHV system.

As with all of AML’s products, our UHV compatible stepper motors undergo a stringent quality assurance process, ensuring that they meet AML’s high level of standard.

AML offers a range of products specifically designed to work with our high-quality ultra-high vacuum compatible stepper motors, including our stepper motor controller, which can drive two stepper motors sequentially, and our UHV mechanisms.

For more information about our range of stepper motors, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team by emailing info@arunmicro.com.