A Smooth Optical Surface in Minutes

Anthony Beaucamp
Zeeko Ltd
Leicestershire, UK

Zeeko Ltd is a technology company that manufactures corrective polishing machines for optics and other surfaces. They are presently researching fluid jet polishing (FJP), which pumps a mixture of water and abrasive particles through a nozzle onto a work piece. Unfortunately, FJP tends to introduce waveforms on to the polished surfaces, which in turn causes serious problems with optics. It is generally believed that variations in the operation of the pump causes these waveforms.

Dr. Anthony Beaucamp and a team at Chubu University, Japan, began to develop a computational fluid dynamics model using COMSOL Multiphysics to track the trajectories of the abrasive particles. From those results, Dr. Beaucamp could predict the pattern of pressure variations, imposed by the pump in FJP. Using this model, Zeeko Ltd, created the optimal running conditions for FJP on optic surfaces. Their technology is now being used by a number of Japanese and Korean manufacturing companies.

Fluid jet polishing of an aspheric die for thin X-Ray mirror replication.