Custom Kapton Heater Protects 3D Microscope from Adverse Effects of Liquid Nitrogen

kapton heater

The Challenge
During the innovative imaging of a new 3D X-ray microscope, samples are preserved through the use of liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen freezes items through excessively low boiling temperatures of -210oC (-346oF). It boils on contact and gives off an insulating nitrogen gas. Due to the proximity of the microscope lens to the sample, the nitrogen gas was causing frost on the lens and obscuring the results of the 3D, X-ray imaging. The solution needed to be two-fold: First, pouring liquid nitrogen onto the sample meant that the environment would be chilled rapidly, thereby requiring the heater to respond quickly. Second, the lens was less than an inch thick, requiring a special lens ring that required a heater to fit within the very thin dimension of 0.375 in (10mm)

The Solution
To solve these product challenges, Chromalox experts worked with manufacturing to design, create and test a custom Kapton® Thin Flexible Heater on a 10mm strip. As a result of the smaller size and the Kapton’s light weight, it responded to declining temperatures instantaneously. In addition, a low-temperature pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) was successfully used during implementation to keep the Kapton heater adhered to the lens ring despite the low temperatures of the nitrogen gas.

The Benefits

  • Delivering innovative and custom solutions
  • Providing value-add design requirements and product knowledge
  • Experts accessible and locally available to assess the needs of the client