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How Strong Should Your Fused Silica Viewport Be?

January 11, 2020
 •  1:27 am

prism_MPF fused silica viewports

Fused silica viewports are the gold standard in the manufacture of lenses and optics for the transmission of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although fused silica is often employed as a synonym for fused quartz, the difference between the two is critical: the fused silica viewports that MPF offers are made from non-crystalline silica glass, whereas fused quartz is made from crystalline glass.

Due to the unmatched purity of the glass, our fused silica viewports have superior optical and thermal quality compared to their fused quartz cousins.

Fused silica viewports are often used in the laboratory to beam UV rays into vacuums, but they have also made a star-studded appearance in manned deep-sea submarines and space crafts, and in other harsh environments. At MPF, we are consistently looking to improve the thermal quality of our fused silica viewports.


international space station
Fused silica glass viewports in the International Space Station via Wikipedia

Recently, for instance, we submerged two of our standard Fused Silica Viewports into a vat of liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen, as we’re sure you’re aware, is pretty darn cold: at -196c, liquid nitrogen is -77c away from absolute zero. We tested both our 1.40” and 1.96” to see if they could withstand such a harsh environment. After returning our viewports to room temperature after their nitrogen baths, we found that our viewports were leak-tight.

Despite these results, we continue to innovate and push our products to the max, developing viewports that can withstand harsher and harsher environments. “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow,” is one of our many mottos. What sounds like science fiction is coming closer to reality every day.

Our only question for you is: what thermal conditions do you need your viewports to withstand?


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