Optical polishing and quality control of polished components

Optical polishing is a fabrication technique widely adopted for the manufacturing process of high precision mechanical and optical components where there is a demand for minimal defects and smooth micro-roughness values. Optical polishing is a method for receiving a superfinish or microfinish of surfaces necessary for further processing, long-term quality and functionality. High precision optical components are made from many materials from glass through to metals. The components manufacturing process are finished with a polishing process in order to meet optical surface finish requirements. 

Each manufacturer will have small variations on this basic method of polishing, as well as proprietary techniques to achieve specific goals. For example, different material parameters will behave differently to different spindle / lap speeds. What is the consistency of the small abrasive particle sizes within the slurry that flows over the optical surfaces? How does time affect the polishing process and are larger particles / outside contamination causing scratching, imperfections or damage to the surface?

In short, many surface parameters have an effect on the outcome of the quality on the final surface topography.

Characterizing polished surfaces using 3D optical surface metrology

Here, optical and non-contact surface metrology hels the quality control of polished surfaces and gathers feedback of the entire polishing process. The TopMap Micro.View is an extremely advanced optical surface profiler for characterizing and measuring surfaces to international standards and traceable artefacts. Polytec's non-destructive coherence scanning (white-light) interferometers meet these high demands for quality control within the optics industry. The optical profiler is fully automatable, working in both the measurement laboratory and production environment, reliably evaluating optically smooth surfaces and superfinished glass components. With its high resolution and repeatability it measures a wide range of optical materials no matter if super finished shiny or grey.

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