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Executing Experiments
Tech Specs
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Operating Conditions | Lab Requirements | Support Equipment | Supplies | Operating Costs

Operating Conditions

  • Pressure range from 0.3 to 4.0 GPa * with a precision of +0.03 GPa
  • Temperature range from 25 to 2000°C with +15°C gradients over the sample
  • Maximum quench rates of 300°C/second
  • Controlled heating and cooling rates
  • Sample volume of 150 mm3 for runs using 13mm ID pressure plate up to 2.5 GPa
  • Sample volume of 500 mm3 for runs using 19mm ID pressure plate up to 1.0 GPa
  • Sample volume of 90 mm3 for runs using 10mm ID pressure plate up to 4.0 GPa
  • Run durations of a few minutes to several months
  • 1 kilobar (kbar) = 100 Megapascals (MPa) = 0.1 Gigapascals (GPa) = 14,500 psi = 987 atmospheres

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Laboratory Requirements

  • 20 amps, 220 to 240 VAC electrical power
  • Minimum cooling-water flow-rate of 1 L/min at a minimum pressure of 30 psi (2 bars). Water temperature < 10 °C

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Recommended Support Equipment

Support equipment in a high-pressure high-temperature laboratory varies with the nature of research, but generally includes:

  • Small DC electric arc-welder
  • Binocular microscope
  • 750 °C muffle furnace with a 5 x 5 x 10cm heating chamber
  • Diamond-blade wafer saw

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Experimental Supplies

  • Furnace assembly components necessary for operation of the QUICKpress are available.
  • Base plug and insulator
  • Alumina thermocouple insulator
  • Crushable magnesia bushing
  • Graphite furnace
  • Glass furnace insulator
    (high-temperature (T>950 °C), experiments only)
  • Glass rod
  • Thermocouple wire insulator
  • Alumina disk insulator
  • Alumina cement
  • Base plug support block insulator
  • Lead foil

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Operating Costs

A periodic expense encountered in high-pressure experimentation is replacement of the tungsten carbide core in the pressure cylinder. In a poorly-understood, non-linear way, core life is inversely proportional to pressure. Core life is often very long at 1.0-1.5 GPa, but relatively short (20 to 50 runs), at 4.0 GPa. However, cores have retained coherency for more than 100 runs at 2.5 GPa. Repair and reconditioning of pressure-plate cores is possible.

Routine experimentation costs include the material costs of furnace assembly parts per experiment, exclusive of sample and container, which typically ranges from $25 to $75, depending in the type of thermocouple employed.

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