Thales Glass to Metal Fastening Challenge

Thales is seeking innovative solutions for fast, simple and modern ways of fastening glass to metal components such as prisms and lenses to plates and within tubes.

Background

Thales designs and builds optical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.

Defence and security equipment operates in harsh environments and is subject to significant changes in temperature conditions. It's seeking solutions that can be applied to equipment such as vehicle sighting systems and cameras that require lens fitting with a glass to metal interface. The current method results in lengthy preparation times, cure times, and difficulties maintaining and regulating the environmental conditions for manufacture. Systems typically require an air tight seal between the glass and metal with a long service life to limit the need for maintenance or replacement.

Routes to consider

Thales is interested in solutions that would, ideally, have a low preparation time with minimal provisional steps before the fastening process. It's seeking solutions that are reliable and robust in harsh environments and do not impair the optical transmission through the optical system.
Solutions should be able to be reworked if needed, and produce a low amount of waste.

Impact

The solution must result in a faster, more efficient and simpler process. If the solution was an adhesive then fast cure times, simple surface preparation, easy mixing and application of the adhesives would be beneficial.

Evaluation criteria

  • Technical viability – proposed solutions must be compatible with their system requirements
  • Costs – solutions should not cost more than the current adhesive solutions unless they provided a significant competitive advantage against other solutions
  • Durability – proposed solutions must be able to withstand harsh environments

Solutions will not be considered if, in Thales’s opinion:

  • A lengthier preparation time is involved
  • Optical transmission performance is degraded
  • Solutions don’t adhere to safety requirements e.g. maintenance hazards

How to get involved

Email to get more details and register your interest. Closing date 21 December 2019.