PROCESS TO MAKE TEXTURED GLASS

US 2019 241 455A1

Systems and methods for texturing substrates (e.g., glass, metal, and the like) and the textured substrates produced using such systems and methods are disclosed. An exemplary textured substrate includes a surface having a portion with a root-mean-square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns and an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns. An exemplary system for texturing a substrate includes a plunger with a textured surface, where a portion of the textured surface has a root-mean-square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns and an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns. An exemplary method for texturing a substrate includes the steps of generating a pattern defining a texture, and 3-D printing the pattern on the substrate to form the texture.

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Claims

1. A textured substrate, comprising:
a first surface having a first portion textured to include:
a root mean square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns; and
an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns.

Show 12 dependent claims

14. A textured substrate comprising a first area and a second area, wherein a Hurst exponent of the first area differs from a Hurst exponent of the second area by at least 20 percent, and wherein the first and the second area are at least 4 square millimeters.
15. A system for texturing a substrate comprising:
a plunger with a first textured surface, wherein the first textured surface has:
a root mean square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns; and
an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns.

Show 4 dependent claims

20. A system for texturing a substrate comprising:
a first roller with a first textured surface, wherein the first textured surface has:
a root mean square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns; and
an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns; and
a second roller.

Show 2 dependent claims

23. A method for texturing a substrate comprising:
generating a pattern defining a texture, wherein the pattern has:
a root mean square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns; and
an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns; and
3-D printing the pattern onto the substrate to form the texture.

Show dependent claim

Description

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/627,061, entitled PROCESS TO MAKE TEXTURED GLASS, filed on Feb. 6, 2018, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

The present disclosure generally relates to textured glass, and more specifically to systems and methods for precisely controlling the texture of textured glass.

BACKGROUND

Traditional methods for texturing glass include pressing molten glass with textured tools, thereby transferring the texture of the tool onto the glass. Textures are applied to these tools using traditional methods such as sandblasting, electrical discharge machining (EDM), fine/rough machining, and laser/chemical etching. However, these traditional methods are unable to precisely control the texture applied to the tools (e.g., at scales below 500 microns), and thus are unable to precisely control the texture applied to the glass.

In some instances, it is desirable to more precisely control the texture applied to substrates (e.g., glass). For example, more precise texture control may enable manufacturing of improved glass having low and controllable gloss while maintaining high transmissivity (e.g., 80 percent transmission). Such glass may be desirable for use in, for example, rooftop solar panels. In addition, precise control of the texture of glass can enable improved control of glass appearance, thus allowing the manufacture of glass with desired aesthetic properties (e.g., glass having the appearance of tree bark, roofing material, etc.) while preserving desired optical properties (e.g., low gloss, high transmissivity, etc.).

BRIEF SUMMARY

Systems and methods for texturing substrates (e.g., glass, metal, and the like) and the textured substrates produced using such systems and methods are disclosed. An exemplary textured substrate includes a surface having a portion with a root mean square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns and an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns. An exemplary system for texturing a substrate includes a plunger with a textured surface, where a portion of the textured surface has a root-mean-square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns and an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns. An exemplary method for texturing a substrate includes the steps of generating a pattern defining a texture, and 3-D printing the pattern on the substrate to form the texture.

FIGURES

FIG. 1 depicts a conventional mold used for texturing substrates.

FIG. 2 depicts a mold used for texturing substrates according to some examples.

FIG. 3 depicts a mold used for texturing substrates according to some examples.

FIG. 4 illustrates a process for texturing a substrate according to some examples.

FIGS. 5A-5D respectively illustrate, an exemplary height map corresponding to a texture, a 3-D mesh corresponding to the height map, a 3-D printed metal piece printed using the 3-D mesh, and a glass piece pressed using the metal piece.

FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate exemplary terms that are added to a Hamiltonian, and the respective textures the terms produce when the terms are used in the Hamiltonian for an exemplary Metropolis-Hastings algorithm.

FIG. 7 illustrates exemplary macroscopic depth modulating functions f(x,y) and their respective resulting effects on textured substrates.

FIGS. 8A-8D respectively illustrate, an exemplary height map of a tree bark texture, the height map of the tree bark texture that has been macroscopically modulated in depth, a 3-D printed metal piece printed using the macroscopically modulated tree bark texture, and a glass piece pressed using the 3-D printed metal piece.

FIG. 9 illustrates the autocorrelation function for the textures shown in FIGS. 5A-5D.

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary autocorrelation function for sandblasted glass.

FIGS. 11A-11B respectively illustrate an exemplary texture generated using Fourier transform techniques and the 3-D mesh for the exemplary texture generated using Fourier transform techniques.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is presented to enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the various embodiments. Descriptions of specific systems, devices, methods, and applications are provided only as examples. Various modifications to the examples described herein will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other examples and applications without departing from the spirit and scope of the various embodiments. Thus, the various embodiments are not intended to be limited to the examples described herein and shown, but are to be accorded the scope consistent with the claims.

1. Systems for Texturing Substrates

FIG. 1 shows a conventional mold 100 used for texturing substrates (e.g., glass, metal, ceramic, etc.). Mold 100 includes plunger 102 including textured surface 104, ring 106, and base 108. To texture a substrate (e.g., molten glass 110), a press (not shown) applies pressure to plunger 102, causing plunger 102 to press molten glass 110, thereby transferring the texture of textured component 104 (and the texture of ring 106 and of base 108) onto molten glass 110.

As discussed, the texture of textured component 104 is applied using conventional methods such as sandblasting, electrical discharge machining (EDM), fine/rough machining, and laser/chemical etching. However, these conventional methods may be unable to precisely control the texture applied textured surface 104. For example, sandblasting methods cannot control the textures applied to substrates at scales below the diameter of the sand grains used and require complex and cumbersome use of masks to obtain spatially varying textures. Chemical etching methods cannot control the texture at scales below approximately 100 microns and are not suitable to obtain spatial variation in texture depth. Further, sandblasting and chemical etching methods may be undesirable because they can physically weaken substrates.

Further, the optical properties (e.g., the gloss) of substrates (e.g., glass) produced by these conventional methods may be difficult to control. For example, conventional laser etching methods use laser pulses to etch a surface (e.g., the surface of a roller) for texturing glass. Each laser pulse removes an approximately square or circular area (e.g., of 1600 square microns) with a depth of approximately 50 microns from the surface, resulting in a textured surface, and thus textured glass, with a step-like or terrace-like structure. Because of this step-like structure, light impinging on the glass scatters within a limited range of angles, resulting in textured glass with undesirably high gloss. Because conventional laser etching produces glass with such step-like structure, conventional laser etching methods are inherently limited in their ability to control the gloss of textured glass (e.g., because of the limited range of scattering angles available on the step-like surface).

3-D printing using laser sintering to form textures may produce a smoother surface (e.g., a smooth, non-step like surface) on textured substrates. A greater range of scattering angles is available for light impinging on substrates with such smoother surface, resulting in substrates with lower gloss. Additionally, because 3-D printing techniques are highly controllable (e.g., the texture is defined in a CAD or STL file) on small scales (e.g., scales below 50 microns), 3-D printing methods may enable precise user-control of both the optical properties (e.g., gloss and transmissivity) and the aesthetic properties of textured substrates. Exemplary techniques for generating textures, which are then formed on substrates using 3-D printing are discussed with respect to FIGS. 4-11 below. Precise control of the texture of substrates produced using the 3-D printing techniques disclosed herein may not be achievable by conventional methods of texturing substrates.

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary mold 200 that precisely and controllably textures substrates (e.g., glass gob 210) according to some examples. Mold 200 includes plunger 202 including textured surface 204, ring 206, and base component 208. In some examples, the texture is formed on textured surface 204 using 3-D printing techniques (e.g., laser sintering). In some examples, textured surface 204 has a root mean square roughness between 40 to 1000 microns and an autocorrelation function greater than 0.5 for distances less than 50 microns.

In some examples, ring 206 includes textured surface 212 and/or base 208 includes textured surface 214. In some examples, the properties (e.g., the root mean square roughness, the autocorrelation function) of textured surfaces 212 and 214 are the same as the properties of textured surface 204. In other examples, the properties of textured surfaces 212 and 214 differ from the properties of textured surface 204. In some examples, plunger 202, ring 206, base 208, and textured surfaces 204, 212, and 214 are made of the same materials such that the components of mold 200 wear uniformly.

In some examples, the texture of each of the textured surfaces 204, 212, and 214 is defined by a respective pattern (e.g., pattern defined in a CAD or an STL file.) A 3D printing process prints the texture of each of the respective patterns onto textured surfaces 204, 212, and 214.

For example, additive manufacturing processes such as laser sintering of a metal powder onto textured surface 204 forms the texture of surface 204 from according to a defined pattern. In some examples, the sintered metal powder includes any elemental metal or includes any alloy containing at least 20 percent in mass of iron, chrome, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, aluminum, copper, titanium, platinum, osmium, iridium, or zinc. Exemplary preferred alloys include a cobalt-chrome alloy or Inconel. In some examples, textured surfaces 204, 212, and 214 are coated with chromium (e.g., a 20 micron layer of chromium). Coating textured surfaces 204, 212, and 214 with chromium can improve the respective durability of plunger 202, ring 206 and base 208.

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