With over 45 years of experience, VPE is among the most qualified and well-equipped diffusion bonding specialists in North America. Our depth of knowledge and design expertise enable successful bonding of the most intricate and challenging devices.

VPE’s history of developing new diffusion bonding process variations and improving current techniques ensures that we employ the best method for each application.

  • Applied dynamic loads to 4,800,000 lbs.
  • Assembly sizes up to 60 inches in diameter
  • Assembly weights to 60,000 pounds
  • Controlled atmosphere
  • High-volume production
  • Induction-based
  • Interface-assisted
  • Long cycle, minimal strain
  • Low temperature
  • Parent materials as thin as 0.0002 inches thick are routinely bonded
  • Partial pressure control for up to three gases
  • Product design to optimize end-product performance and diffusion bonding production costs
  • Quick cooling argon-to-water heat exchangers for high-production-rate processing
  • Reactive interface
  • Selection and supervision of other suppliers for services associated with assemblies to be diffusion bonded by VPE
  • Temperatures range to 1900°C
  • Transient Liquid Phase (TLP)
  • Vacuum-based

Diffusion bonding is reliable for joining a wide range of materials:

  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Copper
  • Gold and other exotics
  • Ceramics
  • Glidcop™
  • Haynes™ alloys
  • Inconel™ alloys
  • Magnesium
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Stainless steel
  • Steel
  • Titanium

Suitable for Precision Assemblies

Diffusion bonding is used instead of precision brazing for end-use applications in which the use of a filler alloy might compromise intricate features and hermeticity.

Diffusion bonding is often the joining method of choice in the production of shim assemblies for mini or microchannel devices, which are used for manifolds, biomedical implants, nozzles, mixers, and other precision assemblies.

It is also appropriate in situations where the temperatures of the end-use application are very high and there is a risk of the alloy material’s softening and the joint’s weakening in service.

Applicable to an Array of Markets

We perform diffusion bonding for customers in a variety of industries, including aerospace, medical, energy, chemical plant fabrication, electronics, and instrumentation. Diffusion bonding is the preferred joining method for a number of microchannel devices and photo etched laminates, gigahertz waveguides and antennas, corrosion resistant manifolds, and microchannel heat exchangers.

Solutions for Discerning Customers

Examples of diffusion bonding projects include:

  • 0005’’ thick titanium foil implantable foil sensors
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne: Space Shuttle valve assemblies
  • Aluminum cold plates for electronics cooling
  • Copper cold plates and flexible thermal straps for cooling
  • Heat exchangers
  • Major medical device corporation: artificial heart implant components
  • Microchannel devices for fuel cells, reactors, reformers, and heat exchangers
  • NASA: Bonding parameter development for Mars Lander
  • Schilling: robotic assemblies for submarines used in offshore oil industry
  • Superalloy structures measuring 24” x 24” x 27” encapsulating miles of microchannels and other microfluidics features
  • UHV electron beam windows
Diffusion Bonding
Microchannel Heat Exchangers

In diffusion bonding, parent materials are positioned together under an applied force and heated in a vacuum furnace, causing atoms from each part to diffuse to the other. The result is a solid bonded device.

Filler-Free Process Ensures Parent Material Strength

A key feature of diffusion bonding is that it does not require the use of filler material. This means that the resulting joint has properties similar or equal to the parent materials.

Transient Liquid Phase (TLP) Bonding Specialized Applications

With TLP (Transient Liquid Phase) bonding, an extremely thin “activation layer” is used to create a short-lived liquid interface at the parent materials being joined. The liquid phase material fully diffuses into the solid parent materials during the diffusion bonding process.

Critical Diffusion Bonding Process Parameters are Considered

By considering the following factors, our team can ensure the strongest bonds:

  • Component flatness
  • Interfacial features
  • Load application profile
  • Production tooling design
  • Service environment
  • Strain-based processing
  • Suitability of the product design and end-use application for diffusion bonding
  • Surface chemistry and metallurgy
  • Surface roughness
  • Temperature profile design
Applied Force is Carefully Selected for Each Application

A key feature of diffusion bonding is that it does not require the use of filler material. This means that the resulting joint has properties similar or equal to the parent materials.

Diffusion Bonding
Microchannel Heat Exchangers

The World’s Largest Hot Press

VPE currently owns the world’s largest vacuum hot press furnace, which is perfectly suited for brazing, bonding, and hot pressing.

  • The usable chamber area is 60 in. x 120 in. x 120 in.
  • Rated for temperatures in excess of 1900° Celsius in vacuum and partial pressure atmospheres.
  • Two independent 1200 ton rams allow for loads to 4.8 million pounds
  • Ten high accuracy load cells allow precision force and precision control on the production elements.
  • Assembly weights in excess of 60,000 lbs.