4 June 2013 Scale up of large ALON windows
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Abstract
Aluminum Oxynitride (ALON® Optical Ceramic) combines broadband transparency with excellent mechanical properties. ALON’s cubic structure means that it is transparent in its polycrystalline form, allowing it to be manufactured by conventional powder processing techniques. Surmet has established a robust manufacturing process, beginning with synthesis of ALON® powder, continuing through forming/heat treatment of blanks, and ending with optical fabrication of ALON® windows. Surmet has made significant progress in our production capability in recent years. Additional scale up of Surmet’s manufacturing capability, for larger sizes and higher quantities, is currently underway. ALON® transparent armor represents the state of the art in protection against armor piercing threats, offering a factor of two in weight and thickness savings over conventional glass laminates. Tiled and monolithic windows have been successfully produced and tested against a range of threats. Large ALON® window are also of interest to a range of visible to Mid-Wave Infra-Red (MWIR) sensor applications. These applications often have stressing imaging requirements which in turn require that these large windows have optical characteristics including excellent homogeneity of index of refraction and very low stress birefringence. Surmet is currently scaling up its production facility to be able to make and deliver ALON® monolithic windows as large as ~19x36-in. Additionally, Surmet has plans to scale up to windows ~3ftx3ft in size in the coming years. Recent results with scale up and characterization of the resulting blanks will be presented.
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Lee M. Goldman, Sreeram Balasubramanian, Uday Kashalikar, Robyn Foti, Suri Sastri, "Scale up of large ALON windows", Proc. SPIE 8708, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials XIII, 870804 (4 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2016867; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2016867
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