Autoclave Testing Studies


Touchstone has several heated pressure vessels of various capacities and temperature/pressure capabilities available for atmospheric/vacuum heat treatment, controlled-atmosphere brazing, infiltration/impregnation (e.g. polymer matrix composites), polymer curing, coal or petroleum coking, sterilization, component pressure testing, or chemical reaction research. Their specifications are as follows:

  • One 30-inch diameter, 30-inch length autoclave
    • 600C and 500 psi (or vacuum) operating capability
    • Programmable multi-step temperature and pressure control
    • Multi-atmosphere capability (oxidizing, inert, reducing)
  • Two 1.5 gallon high-pressure reactors
    • 600C and 3000 psi operating capability
    • Programmable multi-step temperature and pressure control
    • Stainless steel vessels
    • Can also be operated as stirred reaction vessels
    • Manufactured by Parr Instruments
  • Two 4-inch diameter, 12-inch length laboratory reactors
    • 600C and 500 psi (or vacuum) operating capability
    • >800C service at lower pressures
    • Internal ceramic fibrous insulation and heaters
    • Programmable multi-step temperature control
    • Stainless steel vessels
    • Manufactured by Touchstone
  • One laboratory steam autoclave
    • 120C and 60 psi operating capability
    • Steam heated
    • Stainless steel vessel
    • Manufactured by Castle Sterilizer
    • Various other laboratory-scale heated pressure vessels available that can be customized to meet specific research requirements

Most of these were originally designed or purchased to support Touchstone’s development of carbon foam (CFOAM™) from coal-based feedstocks. Each can be outfitted with an array of auxiliary temperature and pressure sensors to monitor process conditions or material response. A mobile computer with an 8-channel I/O card and LabView” software is configured to accept multiple process data inputs, such as that from temperature and pressure transducers, to provide a detailed log of experimental conditions. The systems can also be interfaced with gas sampling ports for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry identification of volatilized species.