High Precision Absorbing Glass Shields for the National Ignition Facility (NIF)
GrayGlass, a full service glass fabricator, glass distributor and glass importer serving industrial, architectural, lighting and optical customers worldwide, successfully supplied over 6,000 high precision absorbing glass shields to the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during the final two years of the NIF’s assembly and completion.
The project included supplying components of the integrated optics modules (IOM) that convert the wavelength of the laser from infrared to ultraviolet and focus each beam through a final focus lens onto a target located at the chamber’s center. At this stage, each of the 192 laser beams has been amplified to 20,000 joules of energy. The Absorbing Glass Shields absorb reflected light energy off the crystals, to protect the IOM metal frames from suffering damages by the high energies involved. “I’m extremely proud of the GrayGlass team from the employees in production to the administration, for their hard work to deliver all parts on time and with 100% acceptance during such a critical time in NIF’s assembly,” stated Chris Viggiano, President of GrayGlass.
In order to satisfy the exacting precision required of this optical system, GrayGlass employs state of the art manufacturing techniques. Parts are initially fabricated using OMAX precision abrasive waterjet systems to achieve the acute tolerances of +/-0.002″ and excellent edge finish (Q5). Quality control is performed automatically via a Mitutoyo CMM (coordinate measuring machine) system that verifies 20 measurement points on the target object. Each compliant part is then CNC laser engraved with a certified serial number, ultrasonically cleaned, hermetically sealed and individually packed in specialized containers for shipment. All quality control processes and packing are performed in an inspection clean room.
In addition, GrayGlass produced the commemorative awards presented to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team members and honored guests at the NIF dedication. These uniquely crafted awards were from surplus laser glass, which was cut, polished, and laser engraved.
Source: Gray Glass