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Proceedings Paper

Melt spun aluminium alloys for moulding optics
Author(s): G. Gubbels; L. Tegelaers; R. Senden
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Paper Abstract

Melt spinning is a rapid quenching process that makes it possible to create materials with a very fine microstructure. Due to this very fine microstructure the melt spinning process is an enabler for diamond turning optics and moulds without the need of post-polishing. Using diamond turning of melt spun aluminium one can achieve ≤2 nm Rq surface roughness. Application areas are imaging and projection optics, mirrors, moulds for contact lenses and spectacles. One of the alloys that RSP produces is RSA-905. This alloy has a solid track record as a better and cheaper concept in the application of moulds for optical components such as contact lenses. The RSA-905 is a dispersion hardened amorphous-like alloy that keeps its properties when exposed to elevated temperatures (up to 380°C). This gives the material unique features for optics moulding applications. RSA-905 moulds are cheaper and better than traditional mould concepts such as copper or brass with or without NiP plating. In addition logistics can be simplified significantly: from typical weeks-months into days-week. Lifetime is typically in the range of 100.000 – 200.000 shots. For high volume production typically ranging from several 100.000 – several 1.000.000 shots, NiP plated steel moulds are typically used. By using an appropriate optical coating concept RSA-905 can be upgraded to a competitive alternative to steel in terms of price, performance and logistics. This paper presents some recent developments for improved mould performance of such concept. Hardness, wear resistance and adhesion are topics of interest and they can be applied by special coatings such as diamond-like carbon (DLC) and chromium nitride (CrN). These coatings make the aluminium alloy suitable for moulding mass production of small as well as larger optics, such as spectacle lenses.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8884, Optifab 2013, 88841W (15 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2030181
Show Author Affiliations
G. Gubbels, RSP Technology (Netherlands)
L. Tegelaers, Oerlikon Balzers Coating Benelux N.V. (Belgium)
R. Senden, RSP Technology (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8884:
Optifab 2013
Julie L. Bentley; Matthias Pfaff, Editor(s)

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