17 May 2016 Chalcogenide material strengthening through the lens molding process
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Abstract
The demand for infrared transmitting materials has grown steadily for several decades as markets realize new applications for longer wavelength sensing and imaging. With this growth has come the demand for new and challenging material requirements that cannot be satisfied with crystalline products alone. Chalcogenide materials, with their unique physical, thermal, and optical properties, have found acceptance by designers and fabricators to meet these demands. No material is perfect in every regard, and chalcogenides are no exception. A cause for concern has been the relatively low fracture toughness and the propensity of the bulk material to fracture. This condition is amplified when traditional subtractive manufacturing processes are employed. This form of processing leaves behind micro fractures and sub surface damage, which act as propagation points for both local and catastrophic failure of the material. Precision lens molding is not a subtractive process, and as a result, micro fractures and sub surface damage are not created. This results in a stronger component than one produced by traditional methods. New processing methods have also been identified that result in an even stronger surface that is more resistant to breakage, without the need for post processing techniques that may compromise surface integrity. This paper will discuss results achieved in the process of lens molding development at Edmund Optics that result in measurably stronger chalcogenide components. Various metrics will be examined and data will be presented that quantifies component strength for different manufacturing processes.
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J. Nelson, M. Scordato, Pierre Lucas, Garrett J. Coleman, "Chalcogenide material strengthening through the lens molding process", Proc. SPIE 9822, Advanced Optics for Defense Applications: UV through LWIR, 982209 (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223271; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223271
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