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Proceedings Paper

Thermal strain characteristics of RBO silicon carbide to 4 K and resultant hysteresis
Author(s): John W. Pepi; Thomas L. Altshuler
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Paper Abstract

Silicon carbide is one of the few materials developed over recent years which exhibits a combination of mechanical and physical properties that equal or exceed those of most all other materials over a thermal range well above room temperature to the cryogenic extremes. As such, it has all of the excellent qualities demanded for high acuity optical systems for use as both an optic which can be made lightweight and a structural support bench or metering material. Of particular interest is the behavior of this material for cryogenic application. Current available data for thermal expansion characteristics is limited to the region between room temperature and 80 degrees Kelvin. The measurement technique and results of a characterization program for accurately quantifying the nominal thermal strain characteristics of reaction bonded optical grade (RBO) silicon carbide down to 4 degrees Kelvin are presented and discussed. Hysteresis data, important for knowledge of predictable structure motions and optical figure after the extremes of thermal excursion cycling, also are discussed. The presentation concludes with discussions of the implications of these properties as they pertain to the design and performance of cryogenic optical systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 October 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2543, Silicon Carbide Materials for Optics and Precision Structures, (23 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.225290
Show Author Affiliations
John W. Pepi, Litton Itek Optical Systems (United States)
Thomas L. Altshuler, Advanced Materials Lab., Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2543:
Silicon Carbide Materials for Optics and Precision Structures
Mark A. Ealey, Editor(s)

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