A virtual leak is a pocket of gas physically trapped within the weld with only a small, very low conductance, path from which to evacuate. Learn about common examples of virtual leaks and what causes them.
Metals the most prevalent choice of vacuum chamber materials, with stainless steel (SS) far ahead of other metals such as mild steel. For example, deciding to use SS doesn’t mean any and all SS alloys. Free-machining alloys such as 303 SS contain sulfur (S), but the vapor pressure of the sulfur (S) is too high for high vacuum systems. 304 SS, though, is the most common choice. This helps narrow things down, but for ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) the low-carbon 304L alloy is recommended.
Historically, the following three factors have made stainless steel the preferred material for the manufacture of vacuum chambers.