Quartz glass has a stronger machinability than ceramic materials. However, they are still extremely fragile and prone to chipping or breakage. Utilizing a diamond grinding tool on quartz glass is similar to tiny hammers chipping at the material little by little. When exposed to machining, multiple micro-cracks are made. The cracks must be controlled carefully, otherwise they will grow into large cracks and break the piece.
Quick links to Quartz Glass Information
Applications of Quartz Glass
Fabricating quartz is expensive due to the high potential of breakage. Quartz is often chosen for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures up to 1400 degrees Celsius for short periods. Because of this resistance, fused quartz glass is often used for aerospace applications, specifically the windows of manned spacecraft.
Manufacturing Process of Quartz Glass
Quartz is commonly cut using CNC machining processes because high precision is required. The CNC machine uses diamond abrasive tooling, diamond points, and carbide wheels to achieve accuracy. After the glass is cut, it is polished to avoid cracks created from use. Handling quartz glass requires extreme precision and is heavily affected by imperfections. Most glass is finished off by being tempered. However, because the thermal expansion coefficient for quartz is so small, the strength of the glass cannot be enhanced.
Points to Consider When Purchasing Quartz Glass
When picking a machine or fabricator, it is important to look at the reputation behind the brand. Glass is extremely difficult to work with. Any flaws in the material or process can deem the finished glass unusable. It is also important to ensure a machine or fabricator has all the capabilities you require and can maintain consistent precision to ensure a usable product.