OPTICAL MACHINING

Plastic is lightweight and offers better light transmission and higher impact resistance than glass. Controlled Fluidics can machine your optics from a range of materials, lowering your costs and providing you with an excellent product.

The machining process can produce an extremely accurate component. For some applications, a machined optic is a requirement for proper performance.

Material Choices

Controlled Fluidics offers plastic optics in Acrylic, Polycarbonate, Polystyrene, Rexolite, and COP/COC. Contact us today and our engineers will help you select the best material for your project.

Weight: Lighter Is Better

Plastic optics are significantly lighter than glass — on the order of three times! 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). Other plastic materials are 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.

Lower 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.

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.