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Precision Glass Molding

 

The viscoelastic behavior of glass at elevated temperature can be used as a key factor to form the lenses in industry. In addition, extensive growth of state-of-the-art technologies has created a demand for high quality lenses and has driven the industry toward an inexpensive process for manufacturing of aspheric glass lenses. Conventional abrasive methods such as CNC machining, grinding and polishing are suitable for producing spherical but not aspherical lenses. Precision Glass Molding (PGM) offers a cost-effective alternative for the mass production of these lenses. Moreover, this method is a green technology requiring no environmentally damaging coolant.

This process includes three steps, heating, molding and cooling. First, the glass gob is inserted between the top and bottom molds at room temperature. During the heating process, its temperature increases above the transition temperature, deforming both the glass and the molds due to thermal expansion. During the compression (molding) step, the heated glass is pressed into the thermally deformed mold surfaces. Finally, in the cooling step both the glass and molds cool to room temperature and the final product is ready to be released.  This entire process can be completed in less than 25 minutes.



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