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I have been working on a method of using a stainless steel wire with a loop on its end that will close around an ampule and heat up using an electric current with a fair bit of voltage, heating it up under a vacuum or inert gas will not be a problem! I am still working out some stuff and it is still in a development stage, but I have shaped glass before using a wire but I am of course unsure if it will work as I hope it will.If it does not work I will use the vacuum method, but I enjoy to experiment, it would be quite enjoyable if I was able to come up with a new, easy and practical way of sealing ampules, there will be quite a bit of tinkering but it is near completion but I got a pretty good idea in my head and a few sketches, and I am figuring that under an inert atmosphere the wire till not oxidize either which is quite good.Choice of wire will of course matter as well, thickness of wire, how the loop is constructed - how it tightens around the ampule - etc..But the general idea is having the ampule in the chamber filled with my choice of gas, snaring a metal wire around the ampule in such a fashion that if pulled, it will tighten around the ampule. Heating the wire up slowly to the required temperature and then simply pulling on it to tighten the near-molten glass to seal.Perhaps a vacuum is simpler or better, but as I said, trying out new things is always fun. Any thoughts why this method may end in failure?
hmm that's an interesting approach. You'll need to simultaneously heat at least 3–4 mm wide of glass up to "soft and tacky" temperatures before applying the pressure. Shaping glass is one thing, but have you ever successfully fused two pieces of glass together with this technique? If you can do that with the setup you have, I guess you're good to start experimenting with amps (I would seal at least half a dozen of em before trying to load one up with potassium or phosphorus!)Maybe just get one of these?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPmIcG1RhJw
Late arrival here, but I'd go for a vacuum, so you can honestly say that the ampoule only contains phosphorus or whatever. I think you will have a problem with fluorine, which will attack the glass, and radioactive elements which may make it brittle.