Surmet has announced that the ALON Optical Ceramic, an optically transparent material, is now available for commercial applications, where it can replace sapphire.
Since huge amounts of sapphire are currently redirected to the green lighting sector, sapphire users are suffering from the shortage of materials. The optical ceramic from Surmet is an ideal alternative for Surmet and it can even exceed the performance requirements of sapphire.
ALON is transparent in the UV-NMR range and in the polycrystalline form due to its cubic crystal structure. It is not birefringent. This allows ALON products to be manufactured in complex geometries and in huge sizes by employing conventional processing methods for ceramic powder, which is not possible with sapphire. The optically transparent material also integrates exceptional chemical, electrical, physical and mechanical characteristics.
The ALON transparent armor has weight and thickness that measures half of the conventional glass transparent armor features. The armor provides 50% more situational awareness in night vision or low light situations.
Surmet has made a huge investment to develop a manufacturing facility for the ALON Optical Ceramic. The ceramic material is already used in several military applications including advanced transparent armor, infrared sensor windows and missile domes. Surmet’s advanced ceramic can be metalized using brazing and various other hermetic bonding techniques.