United States Patent Number: 5,713,610, February 3, 1998. 6 pages. Also available from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Website: http://www.uspto.gov.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Gary Hughes was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
A vacuum system (20) includes an enclosure (22) having a vacuum-tight wall (26) and an internally threaded aperture (66) through the wall (26). A tip-off fitting (24) has a base (50) with a bore (52) therethrough, a hollow tube (62) fixed to the base (50) with a vacuum-tight seal, such that an interior (64) of the tube (62) is in communication with the bore (52) in the base (50), and an external thread (58) on the exterior of the base (50). The external thread (58) on the exterior of the base (50) is dimensioned to threadably engage the internal thread (68) on the aperture (66). There is a disengageable vacuum sealant (70) such as a layer of indium metal between the external thread (58) of the base (50) and the internal thread (68) of the aperture (66). The vacuum system (20) is evacuated through the tip-off fitting (24) and sealed by closing off the hollow tube (62). At a later time, the vacuum system can be brought to atmospheric pressure and then reseated by replacing the tip-off fitting with another tip-off fitting and repeating the evacuation and sealing.
Statistics and Probability