Sapphire Optical Windows Perform in Demanding Applications

Sapphire Windows manufactured from single crystal sapphire are ideal for demanding applications such as laser systems, where high pressures, high temperatures, high thermal loads, vacuum conditions, scratch/wear resistance, low friction and corrosive atmospheres are important considerations. As a result, they are often used in research, medical, aerospace and military applications. Here are some reasons why.

• Except for diamonds, sapphire is the hardest crystal known to man. On the Mohs scale of hardness, which ranks materials from softest (1) to hardest (10), it is rated 9. Continue reading Sapphire Optical Windows Perform in Demanding Applications

Matching the Grade of Sapphire to the Application

Matching the Grade of Sapphire to the Application

The physical, chemical and optical properties of sapphire make it one of the most versatile materials from which various types of windows can be fabricated. Some applications, such as precision optical components, however, demand the highest level of quality while others such as mechanical applications permit use of less perfect material.

In order to optimize the cost/performance ratio of the window being fabricated, it is necessary to match the grade of sapphire to the application. Continue reading Matching the Grade of Sapphire to the Application

Corundum Mineral

Better known to the public as sapphire and ruby, the mineral species corundum is a widely distributed oxide of aluminum which ranks next to diamond in hardness and sometimes occurs so abundantly that it is mined for abrasive purposes. However, clear gemstone varieties are far less common than the course abrasive types, one of which “emery” is familiar to craftsmen as the coating on emery paper and abrasive wheels. In North America, much abrasive corundum has been mined from deposits in Canada and the Eastern part of the US, while clear gem quality material has been obtained in large quantity from Montana.

Some specimens exhibit the beautiful effect known as “asterism”, forming the ever popular star sapphire and star ruby.

By custom, the individual species name ruby is applied only to gem material of pure intense red, all other colors being sapphire. Continue reading Corundum Mineral