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Proceedings Paper

Manufacturing process scale-up of optical grade transparent spinel ceramic at ArmorLine Corporation
Author(s): Joseph Spilman; John Voyles; Joseph Nick; Lawrence Shaffer
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Paper Abstract

While transparent Spinel ceramic’s mechanical and optical characteristics are ideal for many Ultraviolet (UV), visible, Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR), Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR), and multispectral sensor window applications, commercial adoption of the material has been hampered because the material has historically been available in relatively small sizes (one square foot per window or less), low volumes, unreliable supply, and with unreliable quality. Recent efforts, most notably by Technology Assessment and Transfer (TA and T), have scaled-up manufacturing processes and demonstrated the capability to produce larger windows on the order of two square feet, but with limited output not suitable for production type programs. ArmorLine Corporation licensed the hot-pressed Spinel manufacturing know-how of TA and T in 2009 with the goal of building the world’s first dedicated full-scale Spinel production facility, enabling the supply of a reliable and sufficient volume of large Transparent Armor and Optical Grade Spinel plates. With over $20 million of private investment by J.F. Lehman and Company, ArmorLine has installed and commissioned the largest vacuum hot press in the world, the largest high-temperature/high-pressure hot isostatic press in the world, and supporting manufacturing processes within 75,000 square feet of manufacturing space. ArmorLine’s equipment is capable of producing window blanks as large as 50" x 30" and the facility is capable of producing substantial volumes of material with its Lean configuration and 24/7 operation. Initial production capability was achieved in 2012. ArmorLine will discuss the challenges that were encountered during scale-up of the manufacturing processes, ArmorLine Optical Grade Spinel optical performance, and provide an overview of the facility and its capabilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8708, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials XIII, 870807 (4 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2015477
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph Spilman, ArmorLine Corp. (United States)
John Voyles, ArmorLine Corp. (United States)
Joseph Nick, ArmorLine Corp. (United States)
Lawrence Shaffer, ArmorLine Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8708:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials XIII
Randal W. Tustison; Brian J. Zelinski, Editor(s)

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