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What is pitch polishing?

Pitch polishing is a similar concept to the lapping process except it is using a pitch plate and much finer polishing media.

Lapmaster manufactures and uses single-sided polishing machines for a variety of optical components, i.e. optical flats, filters, prisms and for the refurbishing of customer’s optical components.

Typically, components range in size from 20mm diameter to 600mm diameter. Other sizes are achievable depending on both machine and component size and type.

Significant skill is required for pitch polishing, achieving tighter tolerances for surface flatness, roughness, parallelism and cosmetics than you would achieve using the conventional lapping process with coarser abrasives.

The pitch polishing process also produces a significantly improved surface quality with a typical Ra of less than 5 Å.

Pitch plates are a semi-fluid surface with a consistency similar to bitumen (asphalt) and are manufactured at our UK site. Concentric, spiral, radial and cross-hatched grooving is either hand cut or machine cut to allow the polishing slurry to flow beneath components, resulting in exceptional surface roughness and surface flatness.

The highly-experienced optical technicians at Lapmaster have extensive knowledge and experience of the optical polishing process and can provide consistent, high quality components.

Typical Optical Polishing Manufacturing Limits on our Lapmaster 48 Air Bearing Machine:

Specifications    Measurements
Diameter  ≤ 300mm Optical Reference Flat
Flatness  ʎ/20
Surface Roughness ≥ 5 Å rms
Cosmetics (scratch/dig)  60-40 to 10-5




 

 

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