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Final shape of precision molded optics: Part I - Computational approach, material definitions and the effect of lens shape

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-578
Number of pages29
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Coupled thermomechanical finite element models were developed in ABAQUS to simulate the precision glass lens molding process, including the stages of heating, soaking, pressing, cooling and release. The aim of the models was the prediction of the deviation of the final lens profile from that of the mold, which was accomplished to within one-half of a micron. The molding glass was modeled as viscoelastic in shear and volume using an n-term, prony series; temperature dependence of the material behavior was taken into account using the assumption of thermal rheological simplicity (TRS); structural relaxation as described by the Tool-Narayanaswamy-Moynihan (TNM)-model was used to account for temperature history dependent expansion and contraction, and the molds were modeled as elastic taking into account both mechanical and thermal strain. In Part I of this two-part series, the computational approach and material definitions are presented. Furthermore, in preparation for the sensitivity analysis presented in Part II, this study includes both a bi-convex lens and a steep meniscus lens, which reveals a fundamental difference in how the deviation evolves for these different lens geometries. This study, therefore, motivates the inclusion of both lens types in the validations and sensitivity analysis of Part II. It is shown that the deviation of the steep meniscus lens is more sensitive to the mechanical behavior of the glass, due to the strain response of the newly formed lens that occurs when the pressing force is removed.


  • Aspherical glass lens, Deviation, Finite element method, Residual stresses, Structural relaxation, Temperature dependent properties, Viscoelasticity