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Glass Balls And Ball Lenses- Details And Applications

By Expert Author: Leo Turpin

Glass balls are normally used for optical and other technical purposes. The glass balls made for these purposes are made normally from two kinds of materials mainly Ohara and Schott. For increasing the transmission capacity of these glass balls, they are usually coated with AR coating. By coating the glass a ball with this material what happens is that the reflection inside the ball is reduced considerably thus helping in higher transmission.

Glass balls can be manufactured in a variety of diameters and are used for different purposes. The main purposes of these glass balls include

Fibre to fibre coupling

Laser to fibre coupling

Fibre to detector coupling

Laser collimating

Laser focusing

The ball lens plays an important role in increasing the signal coupling capacity of the medium used for optical transmission purposes. It increases the signal coupling of namely the fibres, detectors and the emitters. Based upon the input, the ball lenses focus the light. This is because they are manufactured from a single substrate of glass. The main purpose of these ball lenses is

laser to fibre coupling

Fibre to fibre coupling.

The areas of applications of these ball lenses are in scanning bar code, sensor applications, endoscopy etc. the ball lenses are also used in applications like astronomical optics, projection optic system, optical measurement system and imaging optics system.

The half ball lenses are also known as the hemisphere lenses. Their surface roughness is far small when compared with that of the ball lenses and their precision dimension control is very high. Because of these features they are considered to be ideal for applications like microscopy


Laser measurement systems

Optical pick up devices

Fibre communication

They are also used for other applications which can be done by the ball lenses like astronomical optics, optical measurement systems etc.

The specifications of both the ball lenses and the half ball lenses are more or less the same. Both the lenses are made up of a material called BK7 grade A optical glass. Though ball lenses can be made from a material called SF8 also. Their surface quality ranges from 40-20 scratch and dig. Both of these lenses will be coated by the material as requested by the customer for varying purposes. The diameter tolerance ranges from -0.002 mm to +0.002 mm.

These similarities make them suitable for almost same applications.

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