Tech Tip: The Importance of Coolants for Precision Optics Grinding

Asphere Grinding
Asphere Grinding

The coolant utilized for grinding glass, ceramics and other brittle materials plays a huge role in the effectiveness of the fabrication process. There are many coolants on the market today and a vast amount of research has been performed to determine what chemical composition is required for specific material types. However, the main emphasis for these coolant studies has been for the metalworking industry. Requirements of coolant for use in the manufacturing of precision optics are as follows. First, it should efficiently remove the heat generated in the grinding zone. Next, it should provide sufficient lubricity for the grinding process. It should have enough pressure to effectively remove the glass waste material (swarf) from the grinding zone. Finally, it should allow for optimal material removal rates, while not compromising surface finish quality and tool life.

Coolant also plays a role in reducing health risks to an operator by preventing grinding particles from getting airborne.

The selection of coolant, water or oil based, is dependent on several factors, including the tool bond, work piece material and machine type. OptiPro's Advanced Process Development (APD) lab has done extensive research and to determine the ideal coolant for all types of precision optics manufacturing jobs. For more information on our equipment and the best "recipies" for success in precision optics manufacturing, contact OptiPro's APD Department by sending emails to APD@optipro.com.