Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

Diffusion-bonded beryllium aluminum optical structures
Author(s): Thomas F Grapes
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00
cover GOOD NEWS! Your organization subscribes to the SPIE Digital Library. You may be able to download this paper for free. Check Access

Paper Abstract

Beryllium aluminum material can present significant advantages for optical support structures. A very likely advantage of beryllium aluminum compared to aluminum or titanium for such structures is its higher specific stiffness. However, beryllium aluminum material is significantly more expensive than most competing materials. The cost problem with beryllium aluminum is exacerbated if structural fabrication methods that result in near net shape parts are not used. Near net shape methods result in the least amount of material “thrown away” in the fabrication process. Casting is a primary example of near net shape manufacturing that is appropriate for certain optical support structures. Casting aluminum, and other materials as well, is common. Casting of beryllium aluminum is very difficult, however, and has not had significant success. Diffusion bonding -- a different approach for achieving near net shape beryllium aluminum optical support structures, was pursued and accomplished. Diffusion bonding is a term used to describe the joining of solid metal pieces under high temperature and pressure, but without melting. Three different optical support structures were designed and built of beryllium aluminum using diffusion bonding. Relatively small solid beryllium aluminum pieces were arranged together and then joined under hot isostatic pressure conditions. The resulting relatively large diffusion bonded part was then machined to achieve the final product. Significant cost savings as compared to machining the part from a solid block were realized. Difficulties achieving diffusion bonds in complex joints were experienced and addressed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 December 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5179, Optical Materials and Structures Technologies, (12 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.508495
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas F Grapes, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5179:
Optical Materials and Structures Technologies
William A. Goodman, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top