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Surmet Strengthens Fabrication Capability for Transparent Ceramic Armor and IR optics Products

Surmet, the manufacturer of ALON® and magnesia Spinel, announces significant expansion of its optical fabrication capabilities, in each of its manufacturing facilities across three states in the US, (i.e., Murrieta, CA, Burlington, MA, and Buffalo, NY), occupying a total of over 100,000 sq. ft. All facilities are ISO 9001:2008 certified.

Surmet’s precision fabrication capability includes a wide variety of shapes and sizes ranging in complexity from Transparent Ceramic Armor windows, through prisms, lenses, hemispherical and hyper-hemispherical domes and windows for sensors, lasers and reconnaissance. Surmet’s fabrication capability extends beyond optical ceramics to materials such as Sapphire, Silicon, and Germanium, etc.

Surmet is pleased to offer its extensive fabrication capability and expertise to others on a toll basis. In order to provide customers with total flexibility on price and delivery, Surmet is ready to provide blanks of Surmet’s transparent Optical ceramic materials to be finished by others.

In the light weight transparent ceramic armor market segment where highest volume growth is expected, the current capacity is for fabrication of windows as large as ~19x36-in. This is now being expanded to cover windows as large as 36x36-inches. Using innovative technologies, Surmet has engineered, designed and built its own grinding and polishing equipment for this expansion.

Surmet’s manufacturing is vertically integrated that begins with powder, continues through forming of green bodies and the heat treatment into fully dense optical blanks and ends with the fabrication into precision optical components.

Surmet is the only supplier of transparent ALON® and a leading supplier of Magnesia Spinel. These are very attractive because they are made via powder processing and with a cubic crystal structure, are not birefringent like Sapphire.

Surmet's Magnesia Spinel has high strength and good toughness because unlike many of its competitors, Surmet does not use the Lithium Fluoride fluxed hot pressing, which causes grain boundary embrittlement leading to significantly lower strength.

The bottom line is that Surmet is making real and significant progress on establishing cost effective commercial specialty manufacturing capability, in the US for its transparent optical ceramic products.

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