Optical EngineeringZERODUR®: deterministic approach for strength design
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There is an increasing request for zero expansion glass ceramic ZERODUR® substrates being capable of enduring higher operational static loads or accelerations. The integrity of structures such as optical or mechanical elements for satellites surviving rocket launches, filigree lightweight mirrors, wobbling mirrors, and reticle and wafer stages in microlithography must be guaranteed with low failure probability. Their design requires statistically relevant strength data. The traditional approach using the statistical two-parameter Weibull distribution suffered from two problems. The data sets were too small to obtain distribution parameters with sufficient accuracy and also too small to decide on the validity of the model. This holds especially for the low failure probability levels that are required for reliable applications. Extrapolation to 0.1% failure probability and below led to design strengths so low that higher load applications seemed to be not feasible. New data have been collected with numbers per set large enough to enable tests on the applicability of the three-parameter Weibull distribution. This distribution revealed to provide much better fitting of the data. Moreover it delivers a lower threshold value, which means a minimum value for breakage stress, allowing of removing statistical uncertainty by introducing a deterministic method to calculate design strength. Considerations taken from the theory of fracture mechanics as have been proven to be reliable with proof test qualifications of delicate structures made from brittle materials enable including fatigue due to stress corrosion in a straight forward way. With the formulae derived, either lifetime can be calculated from given stress or allowable stress from minimum required lifetime. The data, distributions, and design strength calculations for several practically relevant surface conditions of ZERODUR® are given.