65 E.State Street, Suit2000
Columbus, Ohio 43215
c/o Schneider Downs
Attention:Dennis R.Mowrey


"Lighting a path to the future with nano-optics."

Glass Molding

Glass molding is a proprietary process whereby Nalux has the capability to actually mold glass just as you would mold plastic.  The process is able to accurately mold micro structures into the glass so that the glass molding process is capable of making optics such as microlenses, diffractive optics, and waveguides which can be fabricated in large production quantities.  

The glass molding process is simple in concept but complicated in practice.  In order to perform the glass molding process, a mold for the glass optics must be fabricated.  The mold is usually just a top half and a bottom half.  To start the process, a glass slug is placed in the bottom half of the mold.  Then, the operator places the top half of the mold onto the bottom half of the mold with the glass slug in between.  The mold is then placed on the glass molding press.  The glass molding press is a heated bottom platen and a heated top platen.  The top platen applies slowly increasing pressure to the top half of the mold as it also heats the top half while the bottom platen heats the bottom half of the mold.  After a few minutes of the glass molding process, the mold has heated up enough to melt the glass slug inside.  The glass slug then flows under the pressure being applied and fills the mold cavity.  Temperatures of the glass molding process can be anywhere between 600 degrees and 800 degrees Farenheit depending upon the type of glass being molded.  After a cool down period which often lasts for about 10 minutes, the glass molding process is over and has produced a fully formed glass optic and the process is prepared to be repeated as many times as needed.  

The glass molding process has two big advantages.  These advantages are the ability to fabricate complex part shapes and high precision optics.  

Complex Part Shapes:  
Perhaps the biggest advantage of the glass molding process is the ability to produce complex parts that cannot easily be fabricated by processes such as grinding and polishing or other methods for producing glass optics.  If an optic is more complex than a simple curvature, then it can become a challenge for standard grinding and polishing operations.  Glass molding can produce aspheres with microstructures such as diffractive structures super imposed over the curved surfaces, can do this on both sides of an optic, and can in the same optic create alignment holes or bosses or other mechanical assembly features.  

High Precision Optics:  
The molding process lends itself to a highly repeatable and highly precise molding process.  You build the mold once and the parts are then reproduced very accurately and very consistently.  

Nalux is an expert at the glass molding process.  Give us a call and see how we can help you in your next project.