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An evaluation of potential materials for the handling and support of mass standards in vacuum/inert gas apparatus.

Berry, J J; Davidson, S; Downes, S; Hogstrom, R*; Silvestri, Z* (2016) An evaluation of potential materials for the handling and support of mass standards in vacuum/inert gas apparatus. NPL Report. ENG 63

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Abstract

This work reports on research undertaken to evaluate the suitability of potential materials for the handling and support of mass standards in vacuum/inert gas apparatus. Primary mass artefacts are currently stored in air at atmospheric pressure and the chamois leather and tissue paper used to support and handle them are not compatible with use in a vacuum. Aluminium, titanium, polytetrafluoroethylene, polyether ether ketone and polyamide-imide materials were selected as potential materials suitable for use in a vacuum/inert gas environment. The suitability of these materials was evaluated by assessing the thermal desorption properties of the polymeric materials and assessing the effect that all of the materials have on the surface of stainless steel artefacts through repeated contact.

All of the materials were found to mark the stainless steel artefacts through contact. Polyether ether ketone, aluminium and polyamide-imide did similar amounts of damage to the surface of the artefacts. The results from the Mittatekniikan Keskus laboratory showed that the polytetrafluoroethylene material caused the least amount of damage to the surface of the artefacts but did transfer some material to the surface. However, this was in contrast with the data obtained by the National Physical Laboratory which showed that the polytetrafluoroethylene material did similar levels of damage as the other polymer materials. The titanium material appeared to cause the next least amount of damage and did not transfer any significant amount of material. The results of the thermal desorption measurements showed that polyamide-imide desorbed much higher levels of water in vacuum compared with both polytetrafluoroethylene and polyether ether ketone.

Item Type: Report/Guide (NPL Report)
NPL Report No.: ENG 63
Keywords: mass, storage, handling, support materials
Subjects: Engineering Measurements
Engineering Measurements > Mass, Force, Pressure
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:13
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/6983

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