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Proceedings Paper

Diamond Turning Of Infra-Red Components
Author(s): B. Hodgson; A. H. Lettington; P. F. T. C. Stillwell
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Paper Abstract

Single point diamond machining of infra-red optical components such as aluminium mirrors, germanium lenses and zinc sulphide domes is potentially the most cost effective method for their manufacture since components may be machined from the blanks to a high surface finish, requiring no subsequent polishing, in a few minutes. Machines for the production of flat surfaces are well established. Diamond turning lathes for curved surfaces however require a high capital investment which can be justified only for research purposes or high volume production. The present paper describes the development of a low cost production machine based on a Bryant Symons diamond turning lathe which is able to machine spherical components to the required form and finish. It employs two horizontal spindles one for the workpiece the other for the tool. The machined radius of curvature is set by the alignment of the axes and the radius of the tool motion, as in conventional generation. The diamond tool is always normal to the workpiece and does not need to be accurately profiled. There are two variants of this basic machine. For machining hemispherical domes the axes are at right angles while for lenses with positive or negative curvature these axes are adjustable. An aspherical machine is under development, based on the all mechanical spherical machine, but in which a ± 2 mm aspherecity may be imposed on the best fit sphere by moving the work spindle under numerical control.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1986
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0590, Infrared Technology and Applications, (1 May 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.951967
Show Author Affiliations
B. Hodgson, Bryant Symons and Company Limited (UK)
A. H. Lettington, Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (UK)
P. F. T. C. Stillwell, The Cedars (UK)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0590:
Infrared Technology and Applications
Lionel R. Baker; Andre Masson, Editor(s)

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