With precision fabrication of components becoming increasingly vital to a wide range of industries, the right materials and processes are essential for lasting quality and success. For manufacturers in particular, one of the most advantageous materials in precision engineering is sapphire wafer. From its unique properties to its versatile uses across the industry, sapphire wafer satisfies a range of demands in reliable and optimal ways.
Despite its popularity among precision engineers, some manufacturers may still have questions and concerns around sapphire wafer. To understand more about the use of sapphire wafer in precision fabrication, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions around the topic.
What Is Sapphire Wafer?
Sapphire wafer is a curved sheet of extremely durable sapphire ceramic. The wafers are made with a range of processes and proprietary techniques, and the material eventually becomes a wafer with a thickness between 100 and 3000 micrometers. It is only transparent in the short wave-length spectrum and it can be molded into complex shapes.
Sapphire wafer is a prime example of a “specialty material”, since its structure is composed of more than one material. The main materials used in sapphire wafer are alumina and aluminum nitride, and additional compounds can be inserted to further tailor its properties.
What Are the Benefits of Using Sapphire Wafer in Precision Fabrication?
Sapphire wafer offers a range of properties and benefits when used in precision fabrication. Most notable of all is its extreme durability and hardness. Sapphire is one of the hardest substances on earth, making it particularly advantageous for projects that require long-term resilience and reliability.
It’s worth noting that sapphire wafer is also temperature resistant and highly scratch- resistant, and it has been known to withstand temperatures up to 2400 degrees Celsius. Moreover, due to its superior dielectric strength, it is often used in optical windows and components that must withstand peak voltages and energies.
In addition, sapphire wafer is relatively lightweight, which makes it ideal for smaller projects or components that endure high levels of movement.
Are There Any Limitations to Using Sapphire Wafer?
When it comes to sapphire wafer, the availability of the material should always be taken into account. Compared to other materials on the market, sapphire wafer is more expensive and subsequently requires higher budget outlay for its use in precision fabrication.
Moreover, sapphire wafer requires an even surface since its surface roughness needs to be between point seven point zero and point nine point zero. Preparation of the wafer for use is also time-consuming, and problems can arise if additional material is not rubbed off right away.
What Are the Best Applications for Sapphire Wafer?
Sapphire wafer can be used in a variety of different industries and applications, such as optical, medical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering. Its superior resilience and strength make it ideal for components that face a great deal of stress or that are exposed to extreme temperatures and hostile environments.
In addition, sapphire wafer is also popular in electronic components such as LEDs and gas lasers, and it can even be used as a film for wearables.
Where Can I Buy Sapphire Wafer?
There are many specialist stores, suppliers, and manufacturers that can provide sapphire wafer for use in precision fabrication. The best suppliers usually offer customization, testing, processing, and on-site visits to help provide the most suitable solution. Before ordering, it’s important to make sure that the supplier fully understands the client’s requirements in order to ensure that the right sapphire wafer is provided.