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Numerical simulation assisted curve compensation in compression molding of high precision aspherical glass lenses

: Wang, F.; Chen, Y.; Klocke, F.; Pongs, G.; Yi, A.Y.


Journal of manufacturing science and engineering 131 (2009), No.1, Art. 011014, 6 pp.
ISSN: 1087-1357
ISSN: 1528-8935
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPT ()

Compression molding is an effective high volume and net-shape fabrication method for aspherical lenses and precision glass optical components in general. Geometrical deviation (or curve change as often referred to in industry) incurred during heating, molding, and cooling processes is a critically important manufacturing quality parameter. In the compression glass molding process, there are many factors that could lead to curve change in final products, such as thermal expansion, stress and structural relaxation, and inhomogeneous temperature distribution inside the molding machine. In this research, an integrated numerical simulation scheme was developed to predict curve change in molded glass aspherical lenses. The geometrical deviation in the final lens shape was analyzed using both an experimental approach and a numerical simulation with a finite element method program. Specifically, numerical simulation was compared with experimental results to validate the proposed manufacturing approach. The measurements showed that the difference between numerical simulation and experimental results was less than 2 mu m. Based on the comparison, the mold curve was revised using numerical simulation in order to produce more accurate lens shapes. The glass lenses molded using the compensated molds showed a much better agreement with the design value than the lenses molded without compensation. It has been demonstrated in this research that numerical simulation can be used to predict the final geometrical shape of compression molded precision glass components. This research provided an opportunity for optical manufacturers to achieve a lower production cost and a shorter cycle time.