For more than 100 years, Swift Glass has been at the leading edge of glass manufacturing technology for specialty and OEM applications. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide precise and innovative solutions for even the most complex projects. Our capabilities include everything from traditional cutting, grinding, and polishing to waterjet cutting, laser cutting, and ultrasonic machining.
Ultrasonic machining, also known as ultrasonic drilling, is a subtractive manufacturing method that uses abrasive particle slurry and ultrasonic vibrations to drill holes and shapes into glass by removing small amounts of material at a time. Valued for its low material rate (MRR), ultrasonic machining is ideal for glass components, as it can be used to finely and accurately grind material from the surface of the material without compromising the integrity of the workpiece.
Ultrasonic Machining Process
Ultrasonic machining is a manufacturing process that does not require the application of electricity, heat, or chemicals to the glass, thereby reducing the overall stress applied. Stress-free ultrasonic machining uses high-frequency vibrations and abrasive particles to remove small amounts of glass, for exceptionally precise drilling that does not compromise the physical integrity or chemical structure of the glass itself. This in turn leads to much stronger, more reliable components that perform better in high-pressure and critical operations.
Ultrasonic machining uses abrasive particles suspended in liquid to create an abrasive slurry. When vibrated at specific frequencies, this slurry works against the hard surface of the glass, wearing away minute layers of the surface to create the desired shape. The gradual abrasion of glass from the workpiece allows for exceptionally accurate drilling depth. The glass can then be ground and polished to meet component size and shape specifications.
Ultrasonic Machining Applications
Ultrasonic machining is a useful manufacturing method used to drill holes in a variety of glass materials with minimal stress or deformation. The high quality and durability of ultrasonic drilled glass components make them particularly useful for critical applications where reliability is a must, including:
Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS)
MEMS equipment requires extremely small, precise holes drilled into a variety of glass substrates. The optical clarity, electrical insulation, mechanical strength, and resistance to thermal and chemical effects make glass an ideal material for use in biomedical devices, pressure sensors, optical devices, and cell phone cameras. Ultrasonic drilling allows increasingly miniaturized glass components to be drilled accurately without compromising the desirable physical properties of the glass.
Aerospace components must be able to withstand extreme pressure fluctuations and a broad range of temperatures. The strength, thermal resistance, and durability of glass make it ideal for use in pressure sensors, flight instruments, and other sensitive components in aerospace equipment. With ultrasonic machining, glass components can be fabricated within extremely tight tolerances with minimal stress, thereby creating exceptionally reliable glass components.
Glass materials meet the need for extreme accuracy and clarity in semiconductor applications. With ultrasonic machining, glass components such as wafers, electrodes, distribution plates, and optical components can be manufactured with optimal clarity and no damage to the glass structure. Exceptional accuracy and clarity help to ensure reliable and efficient semiconductor operations.
Ultrasonic Machining Services at Swift Glass
Swift Glass is pleased to offer precision ultrasonic hole drilling services engineered to meet and exceed the most stringent industry standards, including ASTM, ASME, and MIL-SPEC. Our state-of-the-art equipment uses a variety of specialty components in a range of sizes to meet the needs of many applications. Similar to traditional EDM machining, our ultrasonic machining equipment uses targeted waves of energy transmitted through uniquely designed specialty components to vibrate an abrasive slurry. The particles in the slurry slowly wear away the glass surface in the desired areas without damaging the structure of the workpiece.
Choose Swift Glass for Your Ultrasonic Machining Needs
Whether you need precision drilled glass parts for MEMS equipment or durable avionic sensors, we have the experience, equipment, and skill to provide you with superior quality ultrasonic machined components. In addition to our ultrasonic machining services, our ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR certified facility offers a variety of glass fabrication services, including cutting, edging, grinding, polishing, and strength treatments. To learn more about our ultrasonic machining and other services, contact Swift Glass today or request a quote.