BellowsTech metal bellows are a trusted, reliable solution for NASA cryogenic temperature chambers. Maintaining temperatures as low as -95°C requires more design and expertise than making sure your favorite beverages are served at the right temperature in the refrigerator.
A rectangular bellows assembly was chosen as the mechanical seal between the door and the refrigeration unit. The metal bellows seal provides a leak-tight seal once the door is closed to prevent temperature changes. By utilizing metal, the mechanical seal ensures survival through the cryogenic temperatures of the chamber; certain materials like rubber become brittle at extremely cold temperatures. Because edge welded bellows technology is extremely light-weight in comparison to other hermetic seal technologies, the bellows is able to keep the overall weight of the system to a minimum. The thin metal convolutions of the bellows do not transfer as much heat as conventional machined parts because of their overall lower mass.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
A GLACIER system was also installed on the International Space Station (ISS) for test and evaluation of samples. Samples have been transferred from other systems to GLACIER for returns to Earth while maintaining the cryogenic temperatures.