Development of Ultra-smooth Diamond Tooling for Machining Lightweight Mirrors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Diamond Materials, Inc.
120 Centennial Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

DMI has produced functionally-graded nanostructured diamond materials that are able to machine lightweight silicon carbide optics with high precision and with minimal wear of the cutting edge. The goal of this project is to increase the tool life of a diamond cutter and to develop a technique for ultra-smooth polishing of the cutting edge as well as ultra-smooth machining of curved silicon carbide mirrors. It will enable the optics industry to enhance the performance of large size telescopes and interferometers. In Phase I, we will design a special diamond cutting tool for silicon carbide, manufacture samples of such cutters, and conduct research on mirror machining. In Phase II, ultra-smooth diamond tooling and fabrication techniques will be developed. In Phase III, we will machine ultra-smooth silicon carbide mirrors and other lightweight parts by DMI-developed diamond tools according to NASA?s needs.