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High Force Spring Clamps

Hyperboloid LLC received SBIR Award DE-SC0019579 form the Department of Energy

The award responds to US Department of Energy SBIR Topics FY2019, Phase 1, Release 1, August 13 2018, Topic: 30. a. (2) SRF cavity joining techniques that create vacuum seals without resorting to the use of bolted flanges in order to minimize particulates.

This work would validate a System that removes the greatest source of particle generation in the Superconducting Radio Frequency Cavity assembly clean room – the bolt and nut fasteners – and substitutes highly sprung “C” shaped spring clamps.  In Phase I, an example of the Spring Clamp System will be designed, detailed, manufactured, developed and tested to prove that the clamping concept can reliably seal an SRF cavity.  Specifically an example of the clamps will be mounted between the bolt holes of existing flanges on a research SRF cavity to demonstrate that the clamps produce the high force necessary to crush a standard diamond section, aluminum alloy gasket just as the bolts do.  In so doing, the Spring Clamp should establish the required superfluid helium/vacuum tight seal.  The seal should establish with minimum particle generation because minimal rubbing of metallic surfaces is involved in clamp application. The System minimizes contamination of the production clean room environment where subsequent seals are established on a string of cavities. 


In use, the clamps are initially sprung open beyond their final sprung state using Hydraulic Clamp Openers and are slid over their positions on the flanges in opposing pairs. This simultaneous clamping avoids any tipping of the flanges about the metallic seal as when only one clamp is applied.  When released, the clamp’s tips close the gap to the flange and apply their substantial remaining spring force to press the flanges together and crush the gasket. Additional pairs of clamps fill all the positions. 

Those clamps and their installation tooling are in their second stage of development as Model 1.  They are shown in the site's photo gallery successfully installed on a Research Cavity at the SRF Institute at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility as of 27Jan20.  

George H. Biallas P.E.

Biographical Sketch

George H. Biallas P.E. is a registered Professional Engineer in Illinois and Virginia.  George retired from Jefferson Lab in 2018 after 33 years. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1966.  He has 52 years of experience in design and development of accelerator technologies.  George worked at Fermilab in Batavia Illinois from 1969 to 1985 and before that at the Fermi Institute for Nuclear Research at the University of Chicago starting in 1966.  George's core competencies are magnets, both superconducting and conventional, helium cryostats, electron guns, superconducting radio frequency cryomodule design, free electron lasers.  All of this work was done with a concentration on design and manufacturability. Superposed on the above experience is extensive project management experience needed to get these devices installed and operating.  George has no collaborators and affiliations that would create a conflict of interest. George has 6 patents and 95 publications.  He is one of the awardees of an IR100 Award in 2005.


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