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Optical Engineering

Recent Applications Of Metal Matrix Composites In Precision Instruments And Optical Systems
Author(s): Walter R. Mohn; Daniel Vukobratovich
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes three unique metal matrix composite (MMC) material systems that have been developed for use in dimensionally stable platforms, precision mechanical systems, and lightweight reflective optics. These engineered materials, consisting of aluminum alloys reinforced with fine particles of silicon carbide, offer distinctive performance advantages over conventional metals, including greater specific stiffness, higher strength, and better resistance to compressive microcreep. Weighing about the same as aluminum, certain grades of these MMC materials are isotropic and have excellent thermal conductivity, and they can be tailored to match the coefficients of thermal expansion of other materials, including beryllium, stainless steel, and electroless nickel. Such flexibilities in establishing material properties and characteristics present new opportunities to the designer in producing weight-critical, precision hardware. Practical applications of MMC materials in advanced guidance equipment and lightweight optical assemblies are presented and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1988
PDF: 9 pages
Opt. Eng. 27(2) doi: 10.1117/12.7976651
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 27, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Walter R. Mohn, Advanced Composite Materials Corporation (United States)
Daniel Vukobratovich, University of Arizona (United States)


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