Anderson Dahlen – Applied Vacuum Division collaborates with Argonne National Laboratory for the Design-and-Build of a Helical Superconducting Undulator Cryostat

Posted on: March 24, 2017

The Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory provides ultra-bright, high-energy, storage ring-generated x-ray beams for research in almost all scientific disciplines. An important part of the facility consists of undulators that are used to maximize key x-ray beam qualities vital to frontier experimentation. Undulators are magnetic devices that can be found in all modern synchrotron light sources. While there are numerous variations of undulator designs (magnet dipole orientation, in-vacuum/out-of-vacuum, superconducting/non-superconducting, etc.), the general purpose of an undulator is to generate beam oscillations for the production of synchrotron radiation. The radiation produced is a bright, collimated beam that can be utilized (even tuned) for various types of research that include medical applications, imaging, and lithography. The APS is developing novel superconducting undulators to advance the state of the art in this technology.

In July of 2016, as the result of a competitive bidding process, Anderson Dahlen was awarded a build-to-specification contract for the latest Helical Superconducting Undulator (HSCU) cryostat consisting of a vacuum vessel, thermal shield, and ASME code stamped liquid helium reservoir. Currently, there are two SCU’s installed on the APS ring, and the latest addition has been developed with a new helical magnet configuration and cryostat design. The HSCU cryostat has been redesigned in order to achieve a smaller (less expensive) vacuum vessel, single thermal shield, and a simplified liquid helium circuit and cryocooler-based refrigeration system. Use of standard ISO LF and conflat flanges and tube sizes further reduced complexity and cost.


Exploded view of the HSCU Cryostat CAD model (Courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory) 


Complete HSCU Concept (Courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory)


Anderson Dahlen, Inc. (ADI) was tasked with finalizing the mechanical design and fabrication of the HSCU cryostat on a “build-to-spec” basis. Based on a Scope of Work (SOW) and customer-supplied 3D CAD models of the components, ADI Project Managers and Vacuum Engineers completed the full manufacturing process and design. In addition to the vacuum requirements for the vessel and shield, ADI was also required to design and certify the liquid helium reservoir in accordance with ASME Section IX of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code for cryogenic applications.


Liquid Helium Reservoir Post-Forming of Cu-Clad stainless steel vessel cylinder


HSCU Vacuum Vessel Post-Weld

Throughout the entire process, ADI provided a single point-of-contact and bi-weekly progress reports and schedule updates. Currently, the fully assembled cryostat is schedule to enter service on the APS ring by December of 2017.


Completed HSCU Liquid Helium Reservoir


Completed HSCU Outer Vacuum Chamber

Anderson Dahlen, Inc. is a full service contract manufacturer for custom fabricated stainless steel products, equipment, and process systems. Our high quality equipment and fabrication services are utilized by companies in a wide array of industries, and our custom stainless steel products are in service globally for some of the largest and most well-known companies in the world. No matter what the project or application, our custom contract-manufacturing services will meet or exceed your expectations.