Analysis of form deviation in non-isothermal glass molding
Especially in the market of sensors, LED lighting and medical technologies, there is a growing demand for precise yet low-cost glass optics. This demand poses a major challenge for glass manufacturers who are confronted with the challenge arising from the trend towards ever-higher levels of precision combined with immense pressure on market prices. Since current manufacturing technologies especially grinding and polishing as well as Precision Glass Molding (PGM) are not able to achieve the desired production costs, glass manufacturers are looking for alternative technologies. Non-isothermal Glass Molding (NGM) has been shown to have a big potential for low-cost mass manufacturing of complex glass optics. However, the biggest drawback of this technology at the moment is the limited accuracy of the manufactured glass optics. This research is addressing the specific challenges of non-isothermal glass molding with respect to form deviation of molded glass optics. Based on empirical models, the influencing factors on form deviation in particular form accuracy, waviness and surface roughness will be discussed. A comparison with traditional isothermal glass molding processes (PGM) will point out the specific challenges of non-isothermal process conditions. Furthermore, the underlying physical principle leading to the formation of form deviations will be analyzed in detail with the help of numerical simulation. In this way, this research contributes to a better understanding of form deviations in non-isothermal glass molding and is an important step towards new applications demand ing precise yet low-cost glass optics.