Metal - Glass

Deep drawing & machining

This part in a kovar alloy is used in large solar installation combining glass tubes. The glass/metal combination must be such that no leakage of fluid may occur in harsh outdoor environment in a broad temperature range. The combination of these requirement result in very tight tolerances on the part and extreme demands on surface finish and cleanliness of the metal part. Done by KeyTec.

Kovar is a specific high Nickel containing alloy that is often used in applications where glass and metal are combined. KeyTec has many years of experience in making deepdrawn parts in this material. Our deepdrawing experience of this alloy can be combined with CNC turning and heat treatment to get to the right part. These type of glass/metal combinations end up applications for the solar industry, in medical applications as well as X ray equipment. In all applications, precision meets high cleanliness requirements.

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants utilize long glass tubes in which a fluid (mostly oil) is heated by arrays of parabolic mirrors, up to a mile long.

The individual glass tubes must be connected and shielded with special metal rings that will endure heat, temperature variation and stress, all under vacuum conditions and must show a longlife connection to the glass under these circumstances.

KeyTec was able to identify appropriate metal with identical thermal expansion coefficient as the used glass, to set up a mass production process to manufacture these components and to develop a coating process that guarantees a stress free and long life connection.