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Why-Molded-Polymer-Optics-are-Superior-to-Glass-1

Common Polymers

 for Optical Components
Polymer Type Acrylic  (PMMA) Polycarbonate  (PC) Polystyrene  (PS) Cyclic Olefin Copolymer  (COC) Cyclic Olefin Polymer   (COP) PolyEtherImide  (PEI) Thermoplastic Polyimide OKP Polyester Resin   High Performance Polycarbonate Resin Special Acrylic Resin
Common Trade Names LUCITE, PLEXIGLASS LEXAN, MERLON, Makrolon STYRON, LUSTREX , Rexolite TOPAS APEL ZEONEX, ZEONOR ULTEM EXTEM OKP4 OKP4HT Iupizeta EP OPTIMAS
Refractive Index: nD (589.3nm) 1.49 1.59 1.59 1.53 1.53 1.68 1.62 1.607 1.632 1.6 1.5
Rate of Index change w/Temp dnabs/dT X 10-5 /°C -8.5 -11.8 to -14.3 -14 -10.1 -8 - -9.1 -13 -11 - -9.6
Abbe Value  (Vd) 55 to 57 30 31 56 56 19 19 27 23 27 58
Transmission % Visible Spectrum through 3.174mm 92 85-91 87-92 92 92 36-82 82% (850 nm) 87% (1350 nm) 85-92 85-92 88 93
Birefringence Ultra-Low High Medium Low Low High High Low Low Ultra-Low Ultra-Low
Haze (%) 0.5 to 2 1 to 2 2 to 3 1 to 2 1 to 2 2 2% 1 1 <1 0.2
CTE: Coeff. of Linear Exp.  X 10-5 cm/cm/°C @ 70°C 6.74 6.6 to 7.0 6.0 to 8.0 6.0 to 7.0 6.0 to 7.0 4.7 to 5.6 5 7.2 6.9   6.1
Specific Gravity [water @ 72.5°F] 1.16 to 1.19 1.20 to 1.25 1.05 to 1.06 1.02 to 1.03 0.95 to 1.01 1.27 1.31 1.22 1.26 1.22 1.08 to 1.11
Hardness Rockwell M97 Rockwell M70 Rockwell M90 Rockwell M89 Rockwell M89 Rockwell M109 - - - - Rockwell 99
Max Operating Temp (oC) 90 120 100 160 115 200 220 100 125 100 100
Relative Cost Low Low Low Medium Medium Medium High High High High High
Diamond Turnable Yes No (Polystryene used as a Substitute) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Difficult Difficult Difficult Yes
Color Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Yellow Yellow Clear Clear Yellow Clear
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