Plastic is lightweight and offers better light transmission and higher impact resistance than glass. Controlled Fluidics offers optical machining services with a range of materials, lowering your costs and providing you with an excellent product.
The optical machining process can produce an extremely accurate component. In fact, for some applications, a machined optic is a requirement for proper performance.
Weight: Lighter Is Better
Plastic optics are significantly lighter than glass — on the order of three times! As a result, our plastic options provide a particular advantage as optics increase in size.
Impact Resistance for Function and Safety
In applications requiring high impact resistance, plastic is the default choice. Materials such as polycarbonate are far less likely to fail under impact loading than a similar-size glass lens. In the event of damage, plastics produce substantially safer-to-handle shards than glass.
Improved Light Transmission
Optical plastics can cover a wide range of light transmittance. In particular, Acrylic transmits light more fully than most optical glass (94% range). However, there are other plastic materials comparable to optical glass in the visible spectrum. In applications requiring transmission of ultraviolet and near infrared, plastic lenses often perform better than optical glass.
Optical Machining Lowers Your Costs
The combination of injection molding for blanks and diamond turning produces lower-cost optics than the traditional glass-grinding process. This is especially true in high volumes, which also contain excellent repeatability.
Optical Machining Applications
The majority of optical products are designed to operate in room temperature conditions, allowing plastics to work in the bulk of applications.
Typical applications include:
- Military defense products often employ optics and infrared detectors for night vision displays.
- Optical components can be found in heads-up displays, avionics, and other imaging systems.
- Optical machining is one of the key sources for partial and full mirror applications.
- A wide array of lenses can be fabricated; these include LED, laser cytometry, prisms, light pipes, windows, and Fresnel lenses.