Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Every fusor and fusion system seems to need a vacuum. This area is for detailed discussion of vacuum systems, materials, gauging, etc. related to fusor or fusion research.
Jerry Biehler
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Re: Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Post by Jerry Biehler » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:55 am

That stuff is more polar than isopropyl, you're going the wrong way. Polar is bad, it helps introduce water into a vacuum system as well as not going to thin out the oil.

Found the list I usually use:

http://macro.lsu.edu/HowTo/solvents/Pol ... 0index.htm

Mineral spirits is not going to kill you, not even close. Just have good ventilation and you will be fine.

ian_krase
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Re: Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Post by ian_krase » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:07 am

I wasn't going to use propylene carbonate in my vacuum system. Just thought of it since it's something I ran into on my day job.

ian_krase
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Re: Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Post by ian_krase » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 am

So, I cleaned the turbo with mineral spirits as proposed. This seemed to work to get the forepump oil out of the drag stages and the controller now is willing to start spin-up.

However, I am nervous about running it. The solvent cleaning looks like it left some particles sticking to some of the stator blades, which doesn't seem good, and didn't really fully dry or drain -- I have it under forepump vacuum now, but I seem to be having a hard time getting under 1.8 torr -- is that just massive amounts of evaporating heavy fractions of mineral spirits and oil residue? Should I warm it with my bakeout heater?

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Post by Dennis P Brown » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:06 am

If you have a low vapor point liquid remaining (maybe still some of the old oil), pumping will do little. Rather, try using the solvent again and do two or three rinses )using as little new solvent as possible.) This might help remove the particles (but if any still remain and are very low mass, the spinning blades should "throw" these off. You will know if this is an issue when it starts to spin up in a big way; if significant vibrations occur - trouble and turn it off. If it spins up smoothly, then they aren't an issue.)

A single (or even two) rinses doesn't always fully clean even a glass with a bit of dirty liquid in it - a turbo might be a bit more difficult still ...lol.

ian_krase
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Re: Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Post by ian_krase » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:11 pm

As it turns out, my foreline was full of water and other contamination in the crevasses - was getting cold from that boiling off.

Brian Edwards
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Re: Cleaning forepump oil out of a turbo

Post by Brian Edwards » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:35 pm

Ian,

Did you get this system up to speed yet?

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