What is a Sapphire Lens?
In a prior writing, we explained the definition and uses of sapphire windows. Sapphire windows are often times unintentionally referred to as lenses. However, this term does not fit the definition of a window. A lens is really an optical component with at least one curved surface. A lens can have an outward curve (convex), an inward curve (concave), or one side of each (meniscus). There are also variations of lenses with two convex or concave surfaces. These are referred to as bi-convex or bi-concave.
Now that the definitions are out of the way, what is a sapphire lens and what are they useful for?
A sapphire lens can be very useful for applications in extreme environments. Sapphire’s high melting point makes it a great material for use in furnace and high power laser applications. Its extreme hardness and strength make it an excellent choice for dirty environments or high impact/pressure situations.
Sapphire lenses can be found on probes that burrow deep under the earth’s surface and on aeronautical vehicles where they are subject to high speed debris impacts. The scratch resistance of the sapphire lens ensures a durable long life of the optical properties. Glass lenses that are constantly replaced due to damage can often times be replaced by sapphire lenses. The up front cost is a bit higher, but the long term savings will usually pay for itself.
Guild Optical Associates is a premier custom manufacturer of sapphire lenses. If you are interested in how a sapphire lens could improve your optical design, email Guild Optics today, or call 603-889-6247 x104