FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

The best equipment for the best results.

Metallurgical innovation and manufacturing excellence require specialized facilities equipped with the latest technology.  Therefore, VPE offers over 150,000 square feet of manufacturing, laboratory, and quality assurance space which utilizes high-tech equipment for design, assembly, joining, thermal processing, machining, welding, as well as other metallurgical services to ensure the highest performance possible.

Vacuum Brazing Furnaces

Vacuum furnaces for vacuum, partial pressure, hydrogen, and argon atmospheres provide a clean environment where components will not react with oxygen, moisture, nitrogen, or other gaseous contaminants.  In addition, the vacuum environment improves the wetting and flow of alloy as well as enables a completely fluxless process. Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, operating temperatures up to 1,900°C (3,452°F)
  • Secondly, product size to 120 in. x 120 in. x 60 in.
  • Thirdly, assembly weights in excess of 60,000 lbs.
  • Fourthly, reactive materials brazing
  • Last, active metals brazing of ceramics

Aluminum Vacuum Brazing Furnaces

VPE’s extensive experience with aluminum vacuum brazing consistently results in high-integrity assemblies that meet the requirements of even the most demanding applications.  Furthermore, through VPE’s aluminum vacuum brazing practices, fillet sizes can be minimized, joint voids can be virtually eliminated, alignment of critical features can be maintained, and hermetic joints can be routinely produced. Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, aluminum-brazing furnaces of different sizes
  • Secondly, product size to 62 in. x 59 in. x 38.75 in.
  • Thirdly, producing assemblies ranging from ceramic-to-metal terminations to large-format cold plates, radiators, as well as microwave devices.

Hydrogen Furnaces

VPE’s hydrogen furnaces reduce oxides present on the surface of the materials as well as provide a clean environment for joining ceramics, copper, stainless steel, Kovar, and other non-reactive metals. Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, operating temperatures up to 1,250°C (2,282°F)
  • Secondly, product size to 18 in. x 18 in. x 100 in.
  • Thirdly, controlled dew point processing enables VPE to selectively oxidize and treat products for specialized applications.
  • Last, vertical as well as horizontal loading furnaces

Thin Film Coating Systems

VPE’s experience with a variety of thin film coating methods ensures that we use the most appropriate technique for each application. Techniques e.g.:

  • Electron beam
  • Ion plating
  • Sputtering
  • Reactive sputtering

Induction & Infrared Braze Systems

VPE uses induction heating methods to process and braze components and staged assemblies in vacuum, hydrogen, as well as air environments. Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, rapid precision single-piece production brazing
  • Secondly, fast ramp brazing and thermal processing
  • Thirdly, vacuum, hydrogen inert gas, and air environments
  • Last, fast thermal cycles achieve an optimized microstructure

Diffusion Bonding Furnaces

These furnaces allow for a dynamic force application to components being bonded.  Furthermore, diffusion bonded assemblies can incorporate microchannel, thin foil members, heavy cross-sections, as well as complex geometrical features without the liability of feature distortion or filling of microchannels by braze alloy.  Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, temperatures to 1,900°C (3,452°F)
  • Secondly, applied force to 2,400 tons (4,800,000 lbs.)
  • Thirdly, product size to 120 in. x 120 in. x 60 in.
  • Fourthly, assembly weights in excess of 60,000 lbs.
  • Last, long cycle as well as minimum strain

Hot Pressing Furnaces

VPE is well equipped with hot pressing furnaces for the densification and particle joining of ceramic as well as metal powders.  In addition, VPE is able to use any of its diffusion bonding furnaces as hot pressing furnaces, allowing for small, medium, as well as large-sized batches.  Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, a controlled atmosphere under vacuum to avoid contamination
  • Secondly, interface assisted
  • Thirdly, long cycle as well as minimum strain
  • Fourthly, partial pressure control for up to three gases
  • Vacuum-based
  • Last, applied dynamic load to 4,800,000 lbs.

The World’s Largest Vacuum Hot Press

VPE currently owns the world’s largest vacuum hot press furnace, which is perfectly suited for brazing, bonding, as well as hot pressing.  Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, the usable chamber area is 60 in. x 120 in. x 120 in.
  • Secondly, it is rated for temperatures in excess of 1900° Celsius in vacuum as well as partial pressure atmospheres.
  • Thirdly, two independent 1200 ton rams allow for loads to 4.8 million pounds
  • Fourthly, ten high accuracy load cells allow precision force as well as precision control on the production elements.
  • Last, assembly weights in excess of 60,000 lbs.

Machine Shop

VPE’s machine shop continues to increase its capabilities, providing complex and precision parts for many industries including aerospace, commercial, medical, as well as the Department of Defense.  Capabilities e.g.:

  • Firstly, over ten main machining centers and growing, including  Vertical, Horizontal, 5-axis, Turning, as well as EDM
  • Secondly, two large-scale coordinate measuring machines (CMMs)
  • Thirdly, 3, 4, and 5-axis CNC milling as well as turning equipment
  • Intricate as well as tight tolerance processes
  • Last, machined alloys include aluminum, stainless steel, copper, titanium, plastics, polymers, exotic alloys, nickel-based alloys, Inconel, Haynes, as well as refractory metals

Coordinate Measuring Machines

VPE’s large-scale Coordinate-Measuring Machines (CMMs) verify the machined parts meet their design specifications.  Customers require tight tolerances and CMM inspection gives the measurement needed to pass or fail the part.

  • Large-scale CMMs to verify the conformance of precise parts.
  • Coord3 Universal
  • Travel Size: 118 in. x 59 in. x 58 in.
  • Coord3 Ares NT
  • Travel Size: 47 in. x 26 in. x 26 in.
machine shop

Laboratories

VPE utilizes cleanrooms to provide an environment that minimizes contamination from particles during process and assembly activities.

  • Multiple laboratory environments
  • Large 20,000 square foot laboratory
  • Clean environment laboratories
  • Cleanroom laboratories
  • Full protective cleanroom clothing
complex assemblies

Welding Cells

VPE has extensive welding capabilities, because the products it manufactures require it.   Furthermore, aluminum welding for radiators and stainless steel welding for heat exchangers are commonplace.  Capabilities e.g.:

  • Welding stations for heat exchangers.
  • Welding stations for aluminum radiators.
  • Heavyweight cranes for the safe movement of parts.
  • Tooling equipment for orientation of parts.
diffusion bonded microchannel heat exchanger (MCHE)

Cleaning Lines

Efficient manufacturing requires the right equipment, and VPE can clean large-sized batches of components.

  • Automated ultrasonic cleaning lines.
  • Manual ultrasonic cleaning lines.
  • Large-sized tanks for full submersion of large parts.
  • Heavyweight cranes for the safe movement of parts.
specialty cleaning

More Equipment

With 150,000 square feet of space and over 45 years of service, VPE has acquired an extensive amount of equipment and continues to grow.

  • Materials testing and analysis lab
  • Wet lab and metrology equipment
  • Updated engineering and ERP software
  • & lots more!