The refractive index of fully dense, infrared-transparent polycrystalline alumina (PCA) with a mean grain size of ∼0.6 μm is reported for the wavelength range 0.85 to 5.0 μm over the temperature range T=296 to 498 K. The temperature-dependent Sellmeier equation is n2−1=(A+B[T2−To2])λ2/[λ2−(λ1+C[T2−To2])2]+Dλ2/(λ2−λ22), where λ is expressed in μm, To=295.15 K, A=2.07156, B=6.273×10−8, λ1=0.091293, C=−1.9516×10−8, D=5.62675, λ2=18.5533, and the root-mean square deviation from measurements is 0.0002. This paper describes how to predict the refractive index of fully dense isotropic PCA with randomly oriented grains using the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices (no and ne) of sapphire spatially averaged over the surface of a hemisphere. The refractive index of alumina at 296 and 470 K agrees within ±0.0002 with the predicted values. Similarly, the ordinary and extraordinary optical constants ko and ke are used to predict the absorption coefficient of alumina. The refractive indices no and ne of sapphire grown at Rubicon Technologies by the Kyropoulos method were measured at 295 K and agree with published Sellmeier equations for sapphire grown by other methods within ±0.0002.
The refractive index of polycrystalline α-alumina prisms with an average grain size of 0.6 μm is reported for the wavelength range 0.9 to 5.0 and the temperature range 293 to 498K. Results agree within 0.0002 with the refractive index predicted for randomly oriented grains of single-crystal aluminum oxide. This paper provides tutorial background on the behavior of birefringent materials and explains how the refractive index of polycrystalline alumina can be predicted from the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices of sapphire. The refractive index of polycrystalline alumina is described by
where wavelength λ is expressed in μm, To = 295.15 K, A = 2.07156, B = 6.273× 10-8, λ1 = 0.091293, C = –1.9516 × 10-8, D = 5.62675, and λ2 = 18.5533. The slope dn/dT varies with λ and T, but has the approximate value 1.4 × 10-5 K-1 in the range 296–498 K.
Transparent ceramics are finding increasing use in optical applications with demanding operating conditions. Polycrystalline ceramics provide a unique combination of mechanical, dielectric and optical properties for sensor window applications that were previously not possible. The mechanical strength of CeraNova’s transparent alumina and spinel was measured by an equibiaxial strength test method. The results of the tests and their analysis, included those at elevated temperatures for transparent alumina, will be presented.
Samples of fine-grain, transparent polycrystalline alumina (CeraNova Corp) and multispectral zinc sulfide (Cleartran) were tested to determine mechanical strength and slow crack growth parameters. Mechanical strength measurements of coupons were fit to a Weibull equation that describes the material strength and its distribution. Slow crack growth parameters were calculated using the procedure set forth by Weiderhorn.1 This paper describes the derivation of Weibull and slow crack growth parameters from strength measurements over a range of stress rates and how these parameters are used to predict window lifetime under stress. Proof testing is employed to ensure that a window begins its life with a known, minimum strength.
Transparent ceramics are finding applications in demanding optical applications were traditional mineral salts and amorphous materials are limited and single crystals are not practical. Polycrystalline ceramics offer a unique combination of mechanical, electrical and optical properties that allow window and dome applications and possibilities that were previously not possible. Transparent ceramics are being developed for use in a number of applications with each material possessing a distinctive set of properties that address a particular application. The current status of CeraNova’s fine grain transparent ceramic programs for dome and window applications will be presented with emphasis on their exceptional material properties for specific applications.
Transparent ceramics are finding applications is demanding optical applications were traditional mineral salts and
amorphous materials are limited and single crystals are not practical. Polycrystalline ceramics offer a unique
combination of mechanical, electrical and optical properties that allow window and dome applications and
possibilities that were previously not possible. Transparent ceramics are being developed for use in a number of
applications with each material possessing a distinctive set of properties that address a particular application. The
current status of CeraNova's fine grain transparent ceramic programs for dome and window applications will be
presented with emphasis on their exceptional properties for specific applications.
CeraNova's transparent polycrystalline alumina (CeraLuminTM)a has sub-micron grain size (300-500nm) and high
transmittance in the mid-wave infrared (>85% in the 3-5µm MWIR region). The fine, uniform grain size imparts
high hardness, high strength, and high thermal shock resistance. Polycrystalline alumina is a viable alternative to
sapphire for domes, particularly for aerodynamic shapes which are readily fabricated by powder processing. Both
hemispheric and ogive domes (sub-scale and full-size) have been successfully molded and densified to transparency.
Hemispheric domes have been optically finished. Current efforts include a focus on scale-up, fabrication, and
metrology of aerodynamic domes. This paper presents recent analyses of microstructure, optical properties, and
Polycrystalline alumina (PCA) has great potential for providing performance comparable to or better than single-crystal sapphire, yet offers the opportunity for low-cost powder based manufacturing. CeraNova has demonstrated transparent PCA, by processing the material to simultaneously achieve 100% density and sub-micron grain size. CeraNova PCA displays low scatter in the infrared, with high transmittance (>85%) in the 3.0-4.0μm region, comparable to sapphire. In addition, the sub-micron grain size leads to high hardness, high strength and high thermal shock resistance. This fine-grain PCA is a viable sapphire replacement for dome applications, including those that require aerodynamic shapes readily possible by powder processing. Such shapes present not only processing challenges, but also surface finishing issues. Results from a current program to address these issues in creating an ogive dome of PCA are discussed.
Lead-based PMN-31PT and lead-free BNBZT fibers in the 250- 500 micrometer diameter range were produced using CeraNova's proprietary extrusion technology. Various recrystallization approaches were investigated, including seeded solid state conversion and self-seeded texturing, with the goal of obtaining single-crystalline or textured macrocrystalline fibers. Grains in excess of 100 micrometers - and exceeding 1 mm in some cases - with surface and bulk coverage approaching 100 percent, were obtained in a narrow temperature range and under carefully controlled atmosphere conditions. Large grain growth in BNBZT required the presence of BaSrTiO3 or SrTiO3 seeds and temperatures in the 1150-1200 degrees C range. In PMN-31PT, nearly compete recrystalline was observed in unseeded material at relatively low temperature and short time, and improved performance was achieved with a two-step sintering schedule and slightly extended time. While conduction effects have not yet allowed compete assessment of recrystalline BNBZT, PMN-31PT fibers have shown excellent piezoelectric properties with remanent polarization in excess of 30(mu) C/cm2 and coercive field of 4.5kV/cm. When incorporated into active fiber composites, the latter fibers' performance of 2000 microstrain in superior to average PZT-based production composites. Efforts are under way to induce preferred orientation in the large crystal in order to maximize performance.
Electroactive fibers of preferred macro crystalline orientation and ultimately single crystal structure are goals of the research discussed in this paper. Four compositions are under evaluation; lead magnesium niobate- lead titanate solid solution, PMN-31PT, an incongruently melting near-morphotropic phase boundary piezoelectric composition; PMN-10PT, an electrostrictor composition; and two lead free compositions in the sodium bismuth titanate- barium titanate solid solution, NbiT-BaT, family, both congruently melting, one electrostrictor and one piezoelectric. The efficacy of seed crystals in stimulating oriented crystal growth is being evaluated in the lead-based PMN-31PT system. Sub-micron reactive precursor powders of high chemical potential are being evaluated as matrix material. Direct fiber and ribbon extrusion have been shown to orient high chemical potential are being evaluated as matrix material. Direct fiber and ribbon extrusion have been shown to orient high chemical potential are being evaluated as matrix material. Direct fiber and ribbon extrusion have been shown to orient prismatic, needle and platelet shaped seed crystals. Extrusion orifice, seed and initial matrix particle size have not influenced the degree of seed orientation within the tested bounds of our experimental parameters. Non-equilibrium sintering conditions near the melting points of all four compositions noted above will be used to generate exaggerated grain growth under seeded and self-seeding conditions. In the PMN-31PT system, an as yet uncharacterized melt phase appears to stimulate rapid crystal growth, the orientation of which shall be determined by x-ray back reflection Laue methods. Analyses of fiber composition and grain orientation are ongoing. Results to-date will be reported. Analyses of fiber quality and performance, measured using single fiber P-E loop testing, are presented. Loops of sufficient quality to warrant fiber evaluation in active fiber composite packs have been measured. Progress toward program goals is summarized in this paper.
Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) active fibers, from 80 to 250 micrometers in diameter, are produced for the AFOSR/DARPA funded Active Fiber Composites Consortium (AFCC) Program and commercial customers. CeraNova has developed a proprietary ceramics-based technology to produce PZT mono-filaments of the required purity, composition, straightness, and piezoelectric properties for use in active fiber composite structures. CeraNova's process begins with the extrusion of continuous lengths of mono-filament precursor fiber from a plasticized mix of PZT-5A powder. The care that must be taken to avoid mix contamination is described using illustrations form problems experiences with extruder wear and metallic contamination. Corrective actions are described and example microstructures are shown. The consequences of inadequate lead control are also shown. Sintered mono- filament mechanical strength and piezoelectric properties data approach bulk values but the validity of such a benchmark is questioned based on variable correlation with composite performance measures. Comb-like ceramic preform structures are shown that are being developed to minimize process and handling costs while maintaining the required mono-filament straightness necessary for composite fabrication. Lastly, actuation performance data are presented for composite structures fabricated and tested by Continuum Control Corporation. Free strain actuation in excess of 2000 microstrain are observed.
Experiments aimed at improving the physical properties of transparent polycrystalline lanthanastrengthened
yttria (LSY) infrared windows and domes were conducted. The objective was to enhance the
thermal shock resistance for aggressive aerothermal environments. The approach included improving the
average equibiaxial flexure strength, Weibull modulus, and other relevant physical properties. Initial
results of an extensive study on polishing and post-fabrication treatment along with improved powder
processing showed an -30% strength improvement without sacrifice in optical properties, leading to an
appreciable increase in the calculated survivability. LSY with a low lanthana content significantly enhanced