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Scale-Up Of LLNL Fused Silica Polishing Process

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The scale-up experiment described in this paper demonstrates the feasibility of using a LLNL fused silica polishing process on a 1.2 meter commercial planetary continuous polishing (CP) machine. The experiment was the first time these particular operating conditions had been attempted. Thus it was not possible to optimize all conditions (such as lap smoothness and slurry flow rate) for this machine in this experiment. The process used was developed and documented on a small, 40cm machine [1,2]. However, the experiment illustrates the benefits of this process which include higher efficiency and improved surface quality. This permits the use of only one lap with constant polishing conditions. The purpose of this development is to encourage production of the highest quality surfaces possible without increasing cost. The polished surface character of optical components has a tremendous impact on performance in many areas of optical technology. The work described below is an example that significant improvements in "mature" technologies can be made if processes are carefully studied and an understanding of the process is developed.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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