Custom lapping and polishing
Although a large part of our business is aimed at optical applications such as laser quality mirrors, we also help many customers with high accuracy extremely accurate metal parts for other uses. Our precision lapped or polished surfaces are used for many applications including heat sinks, semiconductor inspection equipment, precision mating surfaces for seals, and alignment aids for scientific instruments.
If you have a need for extreme precision, please send us an enquiry. We welcome the challenge of developing process methods for lapping and polishing new materials. We have supplied lapped and polished parts for fibre optic connectors, medical implants, Formula 1 racing, nuclear installations and the food industry.
“The surface finish is a dramatic improvement to previous methods we have used. We really appreciate the help Mark and LBP Optics have given us.
PM – Co Antrim, UK
Our double-sided lapping and double-sided polishing equipment can generate parts with variations in edge thickness of just 1 micron. Similar specifications are available on polished ceramics, alloys and CVD materials.
Over many years we have lapped and polished many different materials such as:
stainless steel, tungsten, bronze, brass, titanium, ceramics, mild steel, nickel, arcap alloy, graphite, electroless nickel, tungsten carbide, tellurium copper and crystals.
- Typical flatness achieved is 0.5 micron or better on lapped parts up to 270mm diameter.
- Interferometric test results can be provided with 0.05 microns accuracy.
- Polished metal mirrors have the surface smoothness and low scatter normally specified for UV optics.
Many optical designers and specifiers are aware of the importance of surface quality and specify surface roughness as Ra (an average roughness) or Rq (a root mean square). By both measurements LBP Optics offer the smoothest optical mirror surfaces available. LBP Optics have both an interferometric microscope and a stylus profilemeter.
LBP Optics have taken the techniques used in semiconductor polishing and developed them for the chemical polishing of metals. Stock removal is entirely chemical, there is no mechanical abrasive action, leaving a flaw free, ultra smooth mirror surface of nanometre surface roughness. Because no abrasive is used, there are no embedded particles in the surface to act as absorbing sites.
Laser optics require exceptionally low scatter and high laser damage threshold. Any unwanted surface faults can initiate laser damage and cause diffraction of the laser beam. Our polished metal surface quality is flaw-free, and so reduces the likelihood of laser damage.
Plating and coating
We have our own custom made electroless nickel plating equipment, we do not sub contract this operation. We monitor and control the plating process quality, and just as crucially the substrate preparation for plating, in laboratory conditions. Our electroless nickel plated parts are bright, stain free and low in porosity.
We also have a state-of-the-art 3D Optical Profilometer that enables us to measure surface roughness from sub-nanometer to millimetre scale.