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Re: Fused Cellular Blanks

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Posted by Robert May on February 7, 2001 06:22:43 UTC

Guy by the name of Richard Schwartz has been doing a fair bit of work on the subject for a fair number of years, bringing some of his work up to RTMC. I've seen his early work and have heard from others that he's made several mirrors with the process. He started working in plate glass but was unable to get the stuff to not shatter from working with the tools, usually from stresses of the heat of the work. I do believe that he's now working with pyrex but haven't heard of any particular results of what he's doing with the very major project.
AFIK, the use of plate glass is only good for testing the basic procedure with cheap glass and not very good for actually doing a mirror. I'll also note, as you already know, pyrex bonds to itself at a fair bit higher temp.
The only mirrors that I have seen that really had the job done right were the AXE hexagonal celled mirrors. As I understand the process, those are done with pyrex and the hexagons start out as cylinders and are blown into place with air pressure. The mirrors live because the cells are of very thin glass and that allows the necessary flex to allow polishing stresses on the mirror to not destroy them.

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