Hydrospace customers select sapphire glass for its extraordinary durability and optical transparency. A typical application would be to use a quality sapphire glass optical dome cover for underwater photography deployed on a ROV, Subsea camera, or a drone. Additionally, our sapphire lenses can be found on scientific instrumentation or equipment for military, space, medical, optical communication, photoelectric or mechanical applications.
- Fused Silica
- Flat Disc
- Hemispherical Domes
Typical Sizes and Tolerances
Diameter: 3 mm – 300mm
Thickness: 0.5 mm-20mm
Tolerance: +/- 0.05 mm
Why choose Sapphire Glass instead of Acrylic?
Choosing the right material for a project often comes down to analyzing trade-offs. The durability of glasses and softer materials like acrylic can be placed on a scale: harder materials are more scratch-resistant but are less resilient against cracks, while softer materials like acrylics are more crack-resilient but less scratch-resistant. Harder materials are fundamentally more brittle than softer ones so sapphire glass is still susceptible to cracking and shattering despite having high resistance against scratches.
ABOUT SAPPHIRE GLASS
Synthetic sapphire is generally produced by subjecting aluminum oxide powder under extreme heat and pressure and then annealing it to remove internal stress. The resulting material is more transparent and durable than standard glass.
The material is nearly twice as hard as standard glass and is almost as hard as a diamond. Sapphire has a value of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, the third hardest natural substance. This means that sapphire glass is almost resistant to scratch unless it comes in direct and hard abrasive contact with a diamond. Sapphire glass is not only hard but also strong. It has similar properties with naturally-occurring sapphire with a compressive strength of 2000 MPa (290 Ksi). This makes the material almost 10 times stronger than stainless steel. Resistance to thermal shock is also an advantage of sapphire glass.
Although sapphires are blue in color, a sapphire glass is highly transparent to wavelengths of light between 150 nanometers and 5500 nanometers. This range gives the material a very wide optical transmission band from ultraviolet to near-infrared–the human eye can only discern wavelengths between 380 nanometers and 750 nanometers.
Sapphire glass manufacturing process requires extreme heat (> 2000 C) to melt and precision manufacturing. This makes sapphire production more expensive and is mainly used for high precision and mission critical engineering applications such as deep ocean operation.
ORDERING GLASS WINDOWS
To order glass windows, send us a drawing or provide general geometry and dimensions. We will provide a suggested design and a cost quotation. Also provide us with optical specifications, and surface coating requirements, if applicable.