How to keep optical flats in great condition?

An Optical Flat should be handled with great care. The high quality optical surfaces can easily be scratched or damaged if the following instructions are not followed:

First clean the surfaces of the component and optical flat with a lens tissue or soft, lint free cloth. Both faces must be absolutely clean. An alcohol or solvent may be used.

Turn on the Kemet Monochromatic Light Unit. This Unit has a sodium light source and will take a few minutes to warm up. Place the Optical Flat carefully on top of the component. Do not slide it across.

As the Optical Flat and component come together, a line pattern will appear through the Flat. These lines are interference fringes, or bands, and are an indication that the level of the component's surface has risen or fallen in relation to the reference face of the Optical Flat. The better the polished surface being measured, the clearer the line pattern will become.

For interpretation of the light band readings, refer to this article.

After use, clean the flat and place it back into its protective case.

optical flat cleaning kit

Optical Flat Cleaning and Care Kit

This Kit is used for cleaning Optical Flats. Taking special care of these will ensure accuracy and long service.

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