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21 September 2015 Cold shaping of thin glass foils: a fast and cost-effective solution for making light-weight astronomical x-ray optics
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Abstract
Recent advancements in thin glass materials allowed the development and the mass production of very thin glass foils, like e.g. the Willow glass (thickness of 0.1-0.2 mm) produced by Corning or AF32 produced by Schott (thickness down to 0.055 mm). The thickness, strength and flexibility of these glass foils allow bending them up to very small radius of curvature without breaks. This feature, together with the very low micro-roughness, makes this kind of materials ideal candidates for pursuing a cold replication approach for cost-effective and fast making of grazing incidence astronomical optics. Starting from the very thin flat glass sheets, the process under development foresees to bond them onto the supporting structure while they are wrapped around reference mandrels. The assembly concept, based on the use of Wolter-I counter-form moulds, is also based on the use of reinforcing ribs that connect pairs of consecutive foils in the final assembly. The ribs do not only play the role of mechanical connectors, they keep the shape and increase the structural stiffness. Indeed, the ribs constrain the foil profile to the correct shape during the bonding, damping the low-frequency residuals with respect to the Wolter I configuration. This approach is particularly interesting because of their low weight and cost. They could e.g be used for the production of high throughput optics as those needed for the Chines XTP mission, in which the requirements on the angular resolution are not too tight. In fact, a Half Energy Width in the range of 20-60 arcsec is compatible with the expected residual error due to the spring back of the glass sheets. In this paper we provide an overview of the project, the expected performances and present the first preliminary results.
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M. M. Civitani, S. Basso, O. Citterio, M. Ghigo, B. Salmaso, G. Pareschi, and G. Vecchi "Cold shaping of thin glass foils: a fast and cost-effective solution for making light-weight astronomical x-ray optics", Proc. SPIE 9603, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VII, 960310 (21 September 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2188580
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