The Lab has a full complement of chemical process capabilities,
measurement devices, glass labware, microscopes, lab scales, pH meters,
a ventilated hood, pressurized air, and vacuum sources. Lab workbenches
provide space for production and process experiments. Precision flat
granite surface plates allow accurate measurements to be made.
Air Bearing Measurement Table
The measurement table uses air pads that support a large vacuum platen
which traverses a large lab-grade precision flat (0.000037") granite surface
plate. Abrasive discs, wafers and component parts are vacuum attached to
the heavy 19 “diameter travelling platen to allow stable and accurate
measurements. Dimensions are measured to within 0.00005” using a
Surface Roughness Measurements
Multiple surface roughness measurement devices are used to measure the
smoothness of abraded wafers.
Optical Light Band Flatness Measurements
An optical light band measurement unit in the lab can be used to measure the surface flatness of abraded or polished wafers or industrial components to within 1 light band (11 millionths of an inch or 0.000011”).
A wide variety of chemicals, abrasive particles, adhesives, polyester and polycarbonate sheets are stocked. Likewise, polycarbonate island substrate discs of sizes ranging from 8.5” to 19” are stocked for use in producing abrasive slurry coated islands using industry-standard phenolic adhesives. Islands are coated with diamond abrasive particles or abrasive beads.
Abrasive Bead Production
Equal-sized large (and small) porous ceramic beads that contain diamond abrasive particles are also produced in the lab. These beads are formed using precision-thickness screens having uniform sized cell holes. The screens are level-filled with a mixture of selected size diamond abrasive particles and a solution of nanometer sized silica particles in water. These slurry mixture lumps are ejected from the
screens to form spherical beads that all have the same selected bead size. The ejected beads surfaces are solidified, after which they are dried in an oven and then sintered in a furnace. Abrasive beads that utilize abrasive materials other than diamond are also produced in the lab.
Abrasive Island Disc Production
Abrasive island discs having 8.5”, 13.5” and 19” diameters are coated in the lab. The integral islands on polycarbonate disc substrates are coated with large equal-sized erodible porous ceramic beads (filled with small abrasive particles) using an industry-standard phenolic adhesive. A uniform coating thickness having a monolayer of beads is provided by various coating techniques. One technique is coating an abrasive bead slurry mixture directly on the islands. Another technique uses a thin magnetic font sheet with a pattern of holes that match the islands on the disc substrate. An electromagnet holds the font sheet surface in contact with the islands when an abrasive slurry is coated in the font sheet holes. The phenolic adhesive coated on the islands is then cured in Despatch ovens using time-temperature profiles.
Various Measurement Devices
The Lab also contains many mechanical devices that are used to measure a wide variety of component parts. These include toolmaker measurement tools such as micrometers, vernier calipers, gauges, gauge stands, gauge blocks, gauge pins, and angle blocks. The Lab also contains many mechanical devices that are used for static and dynamic measurements of component parts. These include spectrum analyzers, capacitance gauges, voltage meters, and resistance meters.
A precision microscope having multiple light sources and different magnification settings (30X-400X) is used for visual examination of abrasive beads, abrasive particles, coated abrasive islands and abraded parts and wafers. Photos are taken through the microscope for permanent records and future reference.
Electronics and Pneumatics Equipment
The Lab has full electronics fabrication, modification, and repair capability. This includes electronics measuring devices, wiring capability and a wide selection of electronic devices and electrical components. The electrical devices include motor drives, position readouts, volt meters, speed readouts, and indicator lights. The Lab also contains a full range of pneumatic devices including pressure regulators, valves, fittings, tubing, piping, gauges, solenoid valves, and flow indicators.