Special Section on Freeform Optics

Nonisothermal glass molding for the cost-efficient production of precision freeform optics

[+] Author Affiliations
Anh-Tuan Vu, Holger Kreilkamp, Olaf Dambon, Fritz Klocke

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, Steinbachstraße 17, 52074 Aachen, Germany

Opt. Eng. 55(7), 071207 (May 05, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.OE.55.7.071207
History: Received January 16, 2016; Accepted March 30, 2016
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Abstract.  Glass molding has become a key replication-based technology to satisfy intensively growing demands of complex precision optics in the today’s photonic market. However, the state-of-the-art replicative technologies are still limited, mainly due to their insufficiency to meet the requirements of mass production. This paper introduces a newly developed nonisothermal glass molding in which a complex-shaped optic is produced in a very short process cycle. The innovative molding technology promises a cost-efficient production because of increased mold lifetime, less energy consumption, and high throughput from a fast process chain. At the early stage of the process development, the research focuses on an integration of finite element simulation into the process chain to reduce time and labor-intensive cost. By virtue of numerical modeling, defects including chill ripples and glass sticking in the nonisothermal molding process can be predicted and the consequent effects are avoided. In addition, the influences of process parameters and glass preforms on the surface quality, form accuracy, and residual stress are discussed. A series of experiments was carried out to validate the simulation results. The successful modeling, therefore, provides a systematic strategy for glass preform design, mold compensation, and optimization of the process parameters. In conclusion, the integration of simulation into the entire nonisothermal glass molding process chain will significantly increase the manufacturing efficiency as well as reduce the time-to-market for the mass production of complex precision yet low-cost glass optics.

© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Anh-Tuan Vu ; Holger Kreilkamp ; Olaf Dambon and Fritz Klocke
"Nonisothermal glass molding for the cost-efficient production of precision freeform optics", Opt. Eng. 55(7), 071207 (May 05, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.55.7.071207


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