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Optical Glass Properties

Polishing of Irregular Surfaces to Angstrom level Finishes

Valley Design was approached by NASA to assist in developing a process to polish several of their large Mach 3.5, Mach 5 and Mach 6 wind tunnels, nozzles, slides and plates which had been damaged during use.  These high speed quiet tunnels need to have a highly polished metal surface with stringent requirements for roughness, waviness and surface defects.  Upstream from this highly polished nozzle, a particle filter is used to prevent flow-born particle damage to the polished nozzle.  However, even with filtering, in time particles will pass through the highly polished nozzle throat at high velocity and scratch the finish.  This degrades the nozzle performance.

Since Valley had not before polished this size nozzle, and there is no prescribed method, multiple polishing trials and R&D needed to be conducted, as well as devising a method to examine and quantify the defects inside of the nozzle.  In the end, NASA was extremely satisfied with the results, and has come to Valley Design repeatedly for assistance in polishing these types of wind tunnels, nozzles, slides and plates.

Polishing NASA wind tunnels and slides has given Valley Design additional experience to add to the broad based knowledge that Valley has accumulated over the past 37 years.  This enables us to polish various irregular and curved surfaces to Angstrom level RA finishes.  From one meter astronomical mirrors to as small as 1mm microchips, we have lapped and polished all types and sizes of parts, over multiple industries and applications.

Our experience with materials ranges from Plexiglas and Polyimides to as hard as Sapphire and all hardnesses in between.  If you have a project that appears impossible, Valley Design may be able to help.  Many customers come to Valley when no others can accomplish the goal, and we are typically able to satisfy special customer requirements.  Whether it is repairing used wind tunnels or polishing new flat and irregular surfaces in all materials, the wide variety and breadth of our experience gives us the advantage to satisfy your polishing needs.