Fraunhofer Institute is opening up new markets for infrared optics

Credit: Fraunhofer Institute

Credit: Fraunhofer Institute

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT is now to open up new markets for infrared optics, particularly in the consumer sector. At “Optatec”, the International Trade Fair from 7 – 9 June 2016 in Frankfurt am Main, the researchers from Aachen has demostrated how they are ensuring that the precision glass molding process for the mass production of infrared optics is industrially viable.

The Fraunhofer IPT surveys and develops the complete process chain of molding infrared optics from chalcogenide glasses – starting with the question as to how the aluminum alloy molds can be machined using single point diamond turning. Within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)-funded V.I.P. research project MIRO – “Mass production of InfraRed Optics via precision glass molding”, the engineers in Aachen are developing and validating wear protective coatings, which significantly prolong the molds lifetime. A simulation model, developed specially for molding chalcogenide glasses, permits replicative processes to be designed with enormous precision. Even before the very first pressing trial, all of the process parameters can be determined, thereby reducing both the outlay otherwise required for process development and the amount of rejects generated.

In line with the aims of Industry 4.0, the researchers in Aachen have developed a manufacturing concept which will allow large-scale manufacture of infrared optics in a controlled, cost-efficient and high-precision process.

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