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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasonic grinding of optical materials
Author(s): Michael Cahill; Michael Bechtold; Edward Fess; Thomas Stephan; Rob Bechtold
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Paper Abstract

Hard ceramic optical materials such as sapphire, ALON, Spinel, PCA, or Silicon Carbide can present a significant challenge in manufacturing precision optical components due to their tough mechanical properties. These are also the same mechanical properties that make them desirable materials when used in harsh environments. Slow processing speeds, premature tool wear, and poor surface quality are common results of the tough mechanical properties of these materials. Often, as a preparatory stage for polishing, the finish of the ground surface greatly influences the polishing process and the resulting finished product. To overcome these challenges, OptiPro Systems has developed an ultrasonic assisted grinding technology, OptiSonic, which has been designed for the precision optics and ceramics industry. OptiSonic utilizes a custom tool holder designed to produce oscillations, in microns of amplitude, in line with the rotating spindle. A software package, IntelliSonic, is integral to the function of this platform. IntelliSonic can automatically characterize tooling during setup to identify and select the ideal resonant peak which to operate at. Then, while grinding, IntelliSonic continuously adjusts the output frequency for optimal grinding efficiency while in contact with the part. This helps maintain a highly consistent process under changing load conditions for a more precise surface. Utilizing a variety of instruments, tests have proven to show a reduction in force between tool and part by up to 50%, while increasing the surface quality and reducing tool wear. This paper will present the challenges associated with these materials and solutions created to overcome them.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10448, Optifab 2017, 1044807 (24 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2279825
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Cahill, OptiPro Systems (United States)
Michael Bechtold, OptiPro Systems (United States)
Edward Fess, OptiPro Systems (United States)
Thomas Stephan, OptiPro Systems (United States)
Rob Bechtold, OptiPro Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10448:
Optifab 2017
Julie L. Bentley; Sebastian Stoebenau, Editor(s)

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