What is the sapphire window?
Sapphire window is a very thin slice optical component manufactured from single-crystal sapphire.
When it requires to maximise the transmission, reduce the reflection and protect the important electronic or mechanical components from the extreme environmental condition, this sapphire window used in the assembly.
Sometimes it is referred to as sapphire lens, but to be precise it is not. The sapphire lens has one or all surface curved, Whereas the sapphire window has all surfaces are flat.
Why we should use a sapphire window?
The answer to why the sapphire window lies in the excellent desirable property of sapphire material for so many industrial application.
When we talk about sapphire, we thought of sapphire gemstone, yes that blue one, which is found in nature. it is in limited resource, and very costly. This sapphire window made from synthetic sapphire, which is manufactured in the factory.
Chemically, Synthetic sapphire (aluminium oxide Al₂O₃) is the hardest (HK1370kg/mm2) crystal material next to diamond. this hardness of sapphire makes possible to develop much thinner sapphire windows with improved transmittance. It is useful in a transmission range from 0.2 – 5.5μm.
Sapphire performs excellently in very harsh environmental condition as its thermal, chemical, abrasion & scratch resistance. It can only be scratched by a few materials other than itself. And also it has very good mechanical strength. The uncoated substrate is chemically inert and insoluble to water, common acids, or alkalis
As it can be operated up to 2030⁰C and the impressive structural integrity, it is possible to make windows thinner than other alternative crystals.
Sapphire material is capable of transmits between the UV and IR at 0.15-5.5µm and has a high refractive index of 1.75.
Sapphire’s all this property makes the sapphire window most desirable solution for scientists, innovators and R&D engineers when they are looking for a solution which can perform exceptionally good in extremely harsh environmental condition, mechanically and chemically long last and precise performance for life.
How the sapphire window made?
Sapphire granules, a form of aluminium oxide and uncrystallized sapphire material mixed with a specific process & in a particular ratio. This mixture processed in the furnace at the temperature up to around 2204 degrees celsius. at this temperature, the mixture of all materials melts. once all materials melted together, it processed for some weeks through cooling cycles. In this time sapphire crystallizes. Now we have a cylindrical shaped factory manufactured synthetic sapphire. In industry, it is known as a sapphire boule.
The sapphire boule then passes through the cutting process. boules are cut in small cubes, and then cubes into the thin sapphire wafers.
This entire cutting process generally performed by well precision CNC operations, which ensures the maximum utilization of sapphire and close to zero wastage, depending on the design and specification of the final sapphire window to be manufactured. since the zero wastage or very minimal wastage achieved by CNC cutting process, manufacturers can price their sapphire windows very cost-effective.
Now this sapphire wafers processed as per individual clients given specifications and finally manufactured the sapphire windows.
Every sapphire window passes through the quality check process. this quality check process performs in specially created class 100 cleanroom environment depending on the customer’s guideline, specification & requirement.
Once the sapphire window passes the quality check, it is packed in specially designed packaging which ensures the intake of QC passed sapphire windows till it reaches to the respective clients and used in its product’s assembly.
Benefits of the sapphire window?
Sapphire window inherits all its USP from its superior quality material sapphire.
Here’s are some of the mentions from many, why it is in such high demand;
- The sapphire window is scratch & wear resistance.
- It transmits excellent throughout the visible and mid IR spectrum.
- Sapphire window opticals gives a good amount of structure strength, which is also improved transmission.
- It can be made much thinner compared to other optical windows.
- Sapphire window optics is very good for a wide wavelength range of 0.15 to 5.5µm.
- It is resistant to UV radiation.
- Sapphire windows perform very well in the environment high temperature, it can resist high pressure, high thermal load.
- It works very well in corrosive atmospheres.
- It also gives very low friction in its applications.
- It can transmit a wide range of light ranging from infrared rays (IR) to ultraviolet rays (UV).
Usage of the sapphire window?
Sapphire window optical components are used in various applications where high durability or broad spectral ranges requires. in recent time it gains the attention of many due to its usage in many smartphone manufacturing. But if we go down in history, it is been using since long in so many applications in different industries. One such application of the sapphire window is as wristwatch glass. it is being used for centuries and in the present time also it is being used.
Mostly the sapphire window application is to protect delicate components with its strength and durability.
It is stable in transmitting light, So it is very suitable to use to protect various types of IR sensors like fire detectors, human detectors, NDIR gas analyzers, water detectors, human detectors, non-contact temperature measurement, etc.
It is widely used in water gates, cameras for industrial use, water level measuring instruments for rivers, Bar code readers, card readers, coin sensors, etc. as sapphire windows are high abrasion resistance.
It is highly resistant against industrial chemicals like acids or alkalis, hence it is very suitable for viewports of etching apparatus, ashing equipment, diffusion furnaces etc. It is also used at discharge where activated plasma gas used for etching. With the purity of sapphire more than 99.99%, it is used for jigs and parts in the manufacturing lines of semiconductors.
It is also used in medical instruments like endoscopes or filters for laboratory tests because of sapphire’s high purity and is not susceptible to deformation.
It is the most suitable for applications against UV in the environment under severe conditions. some of the applications are fire alarms, chemical concentration meters, UV hardening, photolithography, various types of UV lamps, sterilization, etc.
Aircraft manufacturers use a sapphire window to protect vision systems to help pilots manoeuvre in limited sight situations. Submarine manufacturers use it for its durability under pressure and imperviousness to saltwater abrasion. it is also used for many lasers and LED applications.
To sum up, furnace viewports, submersible ROVs, gas and oil analysis, Infrared, high temperature, high pressure, high thermal shock environments, Scratch resistant elements, rain resistance, or bar code scanning applications and IR analytical devices all typically use sapphire windows.
Industry-wise, the military and defence, space, medical, research sectors and consumer & commercial industries use this sapphire component due to their exceptionally superior performance and reliability in mission-critical applications.
From where to source precision quality sapphire windows?
The supplier of the sapphire window must possess the capabilities to manufacture custom made sapphire windows in masses as per the design, drawing & specification of the customer with the latest manufacturing facility.
Industrial Jewels once such company equipped with the latest state of the art manufacturing facility, supplying precision quality sapphire windows and other precision optical components around the world in many different industries since 1966.
Industrial jewels supply a wide range of sapphire optical components from stock and custom made as per individual’s specifications.
Industrial Jewels also can be opted to collaborate in the early stage of research & development. With rich technical expertise and decades-long wide experience, industrial jewels can develop prototypes at various stages of R&D and manufacture the final product in huge volume for their clients. Industrial Jewels also offer some of the standard designs of the sapphire product in stock. At industrial jewels, every sapphire product passes thru quality check to ensure its high precision standards and customer’s specifications.
To know the complete range of micro-precision products offered by industrial jewels and its advance manufacturing facility, please visit at https://www.industrialjewels.com