Chapter 79. Rapid, Cost-Effective Silicon Carbide Optical Component Manufacturing Technique

  1. Todd Jessen and
  2. Ersan Ustundag
  1. John Casstevens1,
  2. Matt Ferber2 and
  3. Ralph Dinwiddie2

Published Online: 28 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470294635.ch79

24th Annual Conference on Composites, Advanced Ceramics, Materials, and Structures: B: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 21, Issue 4

24th Annual Conference on Composites, Advanced Ceramics, Materials, and Structures: B: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 21, Issue 4

How to Cite

Casstevens, J., Ferber, M. and Dinwiddie, R. (2000) Rapid, Cost-Effective Silicon Carbide Optical Component Manufacturing Technique, in 24th Annual Conference on Composites, Advanced Ceramics, Materials, and Structures: B: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 21, Issue 4 (eds T. Jessen and E. Ustundag), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470294635.ch79

Author Information

  1. 1

    Dallas Optical Systems, Inc. Rockwall, Texas Abuagela Rashed, Ronald Plummer, Poco Graphite, Inc. A Unocal Company Decatur, Texas

  2. 2

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, HTML, Oak Ridge, Tenn

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 MAR 2008
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 2000

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470375693

Online ISBN: 9780470294635

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Keywords:

  • silicon carbide;
  • low expansion glass ceramics;
  • thermal conductivity;
  • glass ceramic materials;
  • shaping silicon carbide

Summary

Silicon carbide may well be the best known material for the manufacture of high performance optical components. A combination of extremely high specific stiffness (E/ρ), high thermal conductivity and outstanding dimensional stability make silicon carbide superior overall to beryllium and low-expansion glass ceramics. A major impediment to wide use of silicon carbide in optical systems has been the costs of preliminary pressing, casting, shaping and final finishing of silicon carbide. Diamond grinding of silicon carbide is a slow and expensive process even on machines specially designed for the task. The process described here begins by machining the component from a special type of gmphite. This graphite is easily machined with multi-axis CNC machine tools to any level of complexity and lightweighting required. The graphite is then converted completely to silicon carbide with very small and very predictable dimensional change. After conversion to silicon carbide the optical surface is coated with very fine grain silicon carbide which is easily polished to extreme smoothness using conventional optical polishing techniques. The fabrication process and a 6 inch diameter development mirror is described.