A parametric smoothing model is developed to quantitatively describe the smoothing action of polishing tools that use visco-elastic materials. These materials flow to conform to the aspheric shape of the workpieces, yet behave as a rigid solid for short duration caused by tool motion over surface irregularities. The smoothing effect naturally corrects the mid-to-high frequency errors on the workpiece while a large polishing lap still removes large scale errors effectively in a short time. Quantifying the smoothing effect allows improvements in efficiency for finishing large precision optics. We define normalized smoothing factor SF which can be described with two parameters. A series of experiments using a conventional pitch tool and the rigid conformal (RC) lap was performed and compared to verify the parametric smoothing model. The linear trend of the SF function was clearly verified. Also, the limiting minimum ripple magnitude PVmin from the smoothing actions and SF function slope change due to the total compressive stiffness of the whole tool were measured. These data were successfully fit using the parametric smoothing model.
|Date made available||2010|