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Silicon Carbide Optical Bench

Poco Graphite, Inc.

Supersic, Poco Graphite’s high-performance silicon carbide, is an ideal material for fabricating optical benches. Complex geometries are easily fabricated and then mated with silicon carbide mirrors for optimum performance. Poco’s unique silicon carbide manufacturing method allows complex machining to take place in the graphite precursor; this is important because silicon carbide is very difficult and inefficient to machine. Graphite parts are assembled and subjected to a chemical vapor conversion (CVC) process which produces a pure silicon carbide monolithic structure. During the CVC process there is growth across grain structure of the assembled parts, forming a homogeneous microstructure. To further meet performance specifications, the Supersic material system allows enhancements to the basic silicon carbide structure. Supersic exceeds the performance of legacy beryllium telescopes and offers greater system capability in demanding applications. The pictured optical bench was designed to hold five silicon carbide mirrors also produced from Poco Supersic. It was machined in four subcomponents, assembled and subjected to the CVC process to produce this pure, monolithic silicon carbide structure that would be near impossible to achieve by any other silicon carbide production method.

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