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Aerospace Manufacturing Glass

Selecting suitable optical material is important when designing aerospace optical systems.

Schott and Ohara offer a variety of i-line glasses with enhanced blue transmittance which are successfully utilized in space applications. Advanced melting techniques and purer raw materials are used in developing these i-line glasses, improving the internal transmittance and homogeneity values. Proper radiation filtering is necessary for protection of the optics. These glasses are commonly used in semiconductor applications; therefore, they are melted frequently and readily available.

Another consideration when choosing optics for aerospace is radiation resistance. Exposure to high energy radiation changes the transmittance of optical glass. Adding cerium to the composition improves the glasses’ resistance to radiation. By doing this, the transmittance edge is shifted to longer wavelengths but stabilized against radiation to a high degree. The higher amount of cerium in the composition, the greater the stabilizing effect and the more resistant the glass is to high radiation. In general, Schott radiation resistant glasses are inquiry glasses and may not be in stock.

These radiation hardened glasses tend to have a longer life cycle in space, but exhibit lower transmission in the blue compared to their undoped counterparts (i.e. N-BK-7 vs. BK7G18 – SCHOTT Technical Information #42). For optical systems requiring high blue transmittance, i-line glasses and Fluoride Crystals (CaF2, BaF2, MgF2) can be used with proper radiation filtering that protects the optical elements. However, for optical systems that are going to be exposed to high radiation over long time periods, cerium stabilized glasses are the preferred solution. Popular materials are listed in the chart below.

Manufacturer Glass Type Code
OHARA S-FPL51Y 497811
OHARA S-FSL5Y 487703
OHARA BSL7Y 516643
OHARA BAL15Y 557587
OHARA BAL35Y 589612
OHARA BSM51Y 603606
OHARA PBL1Y 548458
OHARA PBL6Y 532490
OHARA PBL25Y 581408
OHARA PBL26Y 567428
OHARA PBM2Y 620363
OHARA PBM8Y 596393
OHARA PBM18Y 596387
SCHOTT FK5HT * 487704
SCHOTT BK7 HT 516641
SCHOTT K5HT 522595
SCHOTT K7 HT 511604
SCHOTT F2 HT 620363
SCHOTT F8HT 595391
SCHOTT F14 HT 601382
SCHOTT BK7 G18 520637
SCHOTT K 5 G20 523568
SCHOTT LaK9 G15 691547
SCHOTT LF 5 G15 584408
SCHOTT F2 G12 621366
Fused Silica
Barium Fluoride
Calcium Fluoride
Magnesium Fluoride
Germanium **
ZnS Multispectral / Cleartran **
*HT: High Transmittance
proper filtering to block UV radiation, IR crystals can be used

Schott glasses are not supplied as raw material; glasses offered in blank form only. Call Optimax for availability.