Home made rolled film brands

I was considering the idea of building a rolled film distillation system from scratch. i did this with my short path setup to save some cash over a turnkey kit. i was curious about peoples thoughts on this being a viable option. if so what manufacturers do you like for parts?

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I thought about this a few years back, ultimately I decided it would be cheaper and easier to just buy a used one. Although it would be badass if you built one from scratch…


If by built a short path from scratch you mean purchased a bunch of glassware components and plugged them together, you’re in for a bad time trying to do rollers - the components to do the same in stainless aren’t generally available, as stainless rolled film systems haven’t been lego-ized with common joints etc like glassware has.

With that said, it’s doable. The machining tolerances on some of the parts need to be rather tight.

I would put it at about an order of magnitude more complicated/difficult than building a not-terrible stainless short path.

I’m of the opinion that from a component engineering perspective, the least trivial and most expensive component/assembly is the motor-outside-vacuum-to-roller-assembly-inside-vacuum part. You need to transmit force from atmospheric pressure and ambient temps to negative pressure and possibly quite high temps. The roller assembly needs to stay as centered as reasonably possible, and run along a surface that is straight and has a defined surface finish on the whole interior part.


Thats what i was after. It seems like theres not a defined fitting/adapter standard. and yes thats what i meant by built a short path. Turnkey systems for short path and closed loop extraction are like 2x the cost of individual parts. Was thinking of maybe getting a KD-30 heat column and getting Chinese cold traps and non Julabo heaters or something. I"'ve seen posts on here about building systems but there is no actual info on it. figured id ask directly if its even possible.

I think if you can find a good vacuum rotary passthrough the rest should be doable

Having a welder and the ability to use it may be needed

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High temperature and non-zero torque capacity generally mean $$$$$. The last time I tried to find one that would meet the requirements of a reasonably sized wiper/roller, I was looking at many thousands of dollars. The Rigaku Ferrofluid ones are cool, but read the data sheets carefully before picking one up for this application.

We’ve had our own high-temp magnetic couplers manufactured for jobs like this one. I’ve got a design that would be good for this application - they’re for our hybrid thin film - but I haven’t bothered getting any made yet.


Good luck man. Last I priced everything out to build a custom wiped film, it looked like it was gonna be at least 20k for everything and that was with no mistakes. I had cad drawings and everything. The shit adds up and takes a helluva welder+machinist to make it happen. It ended up being cheaper and easier to buy a used one. Keep your eyes peeled. They will be out there, just gotta be able to spring when you find one for cheap!