Accurate to a millionth of a millimeter

Researchers and developers are constantly working to the limits of what is technically feasible to come up with new findings and products, whether in search of new planets, in forecasting the weather or developing turbo-fast chips and flexible displays. Precision down to a millionth of a millimeter is indispensable to their efforts. It makes special glass-ceramic possible – and ensures that innovative ideas become reality.

Challenge

Growing with heat

Almost all materials expand with heat and shrink with cold. This is caused by thermal expansion behavior, the oscillation of individual molecules and atoms. Iron is a particularly clear example:

the Eiffel Tower is up to 30 centimeters taller in the summer than in the winter.

When it comes to high-tech products, however, materials should generally be resistant to temperature changes.

Summer
Winter

Innovation

Cheating nature

mm

expansion

A special glass-ceramic called ZERODUR® manages to cheat the basic principles of physics. Components such as lithium oxide, aluminum oxide and silicon oxide are melted into glass, cooled and reheated. This produces crystallites small enough to be measured in nanometers. Their negative thermal expansion compensates for the positive thermal expansion of the residual glass. The result is a thermal expansion coefficient close to zero.

“ZERO” and “DUR” as quality features

Whether hot or cold, ZERODUR® shows “zero” influence, even under extreme pressure. The name also stands for durability. It’s good machinability and excellent homogeneity properties offers even more advantages. Developed 50 years ago, it is now more in demand than ever for a variety of technical applications that all have one thing in common: precision.

ZERODUR® – an all-round talent in use

People

“Without a material with these properties, a project like the Extremely Large Telescope would not be possible.”

– Markus Kissler-Patig, Senior Astronomer at the ESO

“Together with our customers, we have continuously optimized ZERODUR® over the past 50 years.”

– Thomas Werner, Project Manager ELT at SCHOTT

Next

Superlative Material

When precision and shifting technological boundaries are at stake, components made of ZERODUR® and the know-how of SCHOTT’s glass experts make it possible – yesterday, today and especially tomorrow.

When precision and shifting technological boundaries are at stake, components made of ZERODUR® and the know-how of SCHOTT’s glass experts make it possible – yesterday, today and especially tomorrow.

Let’s continue our 50 years success story

What’s your next
milestone?

Contact

Dr.Thomas Westerhoff
Advanced Optics
SCHOTT AG

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