Vacuum Chamber Design
I'm working on a project fixing a vacuum chamber. This is a regtangular chamber with a cross section of 6ft wide x 7'-4" high. The chamber length is 18 ft. The chamber shell is 1/4" thick plate and is reinforced with 3x3 11 ga. tubes all the way around at 20.5" spacing. All materials mentioned are 304 SST. The chamber operates at 28" Hg vacuum with a load of 24,000 lbs evenly distributed on the chamber floor. After a period of time, the chamber floor has experienced very noticeable and permanent deformation. To be specific, the floor curves up a significant distance. Additionally, the welds along the longitunal corners have cracked at many places. We're going to replace the floor completely. The new floor will have stronger 4x4x1/4 tube bracing on the bottom. Also 3x3x1/4 angles will be welded at inside corners of chamber. Anyone with experience in designing vacuum chambers please advice areas of concern? I'd appreciate your suggestions to fix the problem.