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Our technology

The developed and being constantly improved Microstructural Glass (MSG) Technology allows fabricating with high accuracy ordinary glass tubes and rods and micro items having complicated cross-section structure. The component dimensions may be less than 100nm.

The technology is based on the traditional fiber technology based on the glass amorphousness allowing glass softening when heated and the property of the dimensions keeping when further cooled. The technology basic stages are vertical drawing from glass blocks and redrawing of the prefabricated tubes to the specified size and shape.

Drawing

Drawing

Glass items drawing from glass melt is the most conventional technology of fabrication of glass items in the form of tubes and rods of different cross section size and geometry. The primary blank for the glass items drawing machine is a glass block placed into a glass-melting crucible with a drawing-die. The crucible is placed into the furnace and is heated up to the glass softening temperature. Then a special mechanism draws the glass tube or rod through a drawing die. The item cross-section shape and its dimensions are determined by the drawing die geometry, drawing speed and the heated block temperature. Being gradually cooled during the drawing process the tube (rod) is placed into the drawing mechanism whose working speed sets the item parameters. After being cut into the specified length ready products or preforms for further production stages are received.

Redrawing

Redrawing

The redrawing process basis (in a similar way to the drawing process) is the possibility of repeated reduction of dimensions of the initial preform keeping its cross section geometrical proportions (so called redrawing by the similarity method). Redrawing objects may be separate tubes (rods) as well as assemblies of such elements (preforms). In the latter case the way of the elements arrangement in the assembly sets the cross section geometry of the ready items.

The prepared assembly is fixed on the machine feeding mechanism platform. The mechanism moves the assembly with the specified speed through a continuous furnace. When heated up to the strictly specified temperature (specific for each glass type), similarly to the glass block at the drawing, stage the preform starts softening. With the help of a chain mechanism the preform is redrawn with the reduction of its cross-sectional dimensions. The relation of the preform cross section and the redrawn item cross section is the redrawing coefficient. It is provided by the specification of the required ratio of the preform feeding into the furnace speed and drawing the item out of the furnace speed.

Multiple repetition of this stage allows achieving the required geometry. The unique character of our technology is the possibility to combine materials having special properties in one item.

Sintering

Sintering process

A part of MSG technology is the glass items sintering process. Sintering is combining of separate microstructures in unified whole under influence of heating, excessive pressure and further cooling (annealing).
Multichannel elements are assembled into a unit that is placed into a shell that is selected on the basis of TCLE and softening temperature. The received preform is placed into an airproof furnace and heated to the glass melt viscosity state 2 х 107poise. Then the shell is airproofed by way of gases pumping out. Excessive nitrogen pressure up to 10 kgf/cm2 is fed into the chamber. The pressure, temperature in the chamber and sintering process length are selected on the basis of the glass type and dimensions.
After sintering completion the sintered unit is annealed and chilled. Then the item is taken out and, depending on its designation, it may be cut into plates of the specified thickness or, if necessary, the shell may be mechanically taken out. The plates containing soluble glass are etched in an acid solution.

If necessary, the items may be machined in different ways (cut, grinded, polished), chemically etched and sputtered.

Unetched item Etched item
Unetched Itemе Etched Item

Examples of application of items fabricated with the help of MSG technology may be:
X-ray optics: X-ray trapping and focusing (by X-ray guides and X-ray range lenses);
micromechanics: fabrication of micromotors with the stator diameter less than 2mm and other electromechanical elements;
electronics: fabrication of LCD and plasma information displaying panel elements and other optoelectronic and electro-optical elements;
optical communication systems: fabrication of LCD and plasma information displaying panel elements and other optoelectronic and electro-optical elements;
biochemistry and medicine: fabrication of capillaries and micro-dosage devices for biological microchips.