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An Overview of Vacuum System Design

By Patrick Govoni |

The design of vacuum systems deserves careful attention — there are multiple facets that affect efficiency, operability and cost Understanding vacuum and designing vacuum systems can be difficult, and there are many unique aspects that an engineer must take into account. Although some aspects of compressed-gas system design can be translated to vacuum-system design, for the most part they are two entirely separate subjects. This article discusses common misconceptions, such as units of measurement and calculation of flow. It also covers methods of producing vacuum and design aspects, such as minimizing air leakage, pressure drop, condensation and a specific approach to sizing vacuum piping. The design of vacuum systems is certainly a topic that deserves careful attention given that there are multiple facets that affect efficiency, operability and cost. After a few key changes in perspective, the reader will find the subject is not as intimidating as it first appears.   Introductory concepts Defining vacuum. The common definition describes vacuum as a space void of matter. However, at the current level of technology, scientists have not demonstrated that it is possible to remove all gas from a given space. The practical…
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