Producibility of Cryocooler Compressors

CF Cheuk (1), NG Hill (1), R Strauch (1), PB Bailey (2), Jeff Raab (3)

  1. The Hymatic Engineering Co. Ltd., Redditch, UK
  2. Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PJ, UK.
  3. TRW, Redondo Beach, California, USA

This paper describes the high yield rate, the quality process, and the high performance uniformity among the 12 space qualified HEC (High Efficiency Cryocooler) compressors that have been fully assembled and tested over a period of 15 months. The number of compressors produced allows initial SPC (Statistical Process Control) results of process capabilities to be assessed. 100% yield in final assembly as well as in sub-assembly processes and tests have been achieved. Acceptance tests include compression tests and high temperature friction tests to assure frictionless non-wearing operation of the compressors over their wide operating temperature range. A summary of the manufacturing experience of producing small clearance frictionless compressors is presented. The paper also recommends process enhancements and new testing methods and equipment for future manufacturing.