11 May 2017 Progress on high-performance rapid prototype aluminum mirrors
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Abstract
Near net shape parts can be produced using some very old processes (investment casting) and the relatively new direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process. These processes have significant advantages for complex blank lightweighting and costs but are not inherently suited for producing high performance mirrors. The DMLS process can provide extremely complex lightweight structures but the high residual stresses left in the material results in unstable mirror figure retention. Although not to the extreme intricacy of DMLS, investment casting can also provide complex lightweight structures at considerably lower costs than DMLS and even conventional wrought mirror blanks but the less than 100% density for casting (and also DMLS) limits finishing quality. This paper will cover the progress that has been made to make both the DMLS and investment casting processes into viable near net shape blank options for high performance aluminum mirrors. Finish and figure results will be presented to show performance commensurate with existing conventional processes.
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Kenneth S. Woodard, Bruce H. Myrick, "Progress on high-performance rapid prototype aluminum mirrors", Proc. SPIE 10181, Advanced Optics for Defense Applications: UV through LWIR II, 101810T (11 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2263319; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2263319
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