Over the past few months, we’ve discussed nearly every type of encoder disc material available at Photo Solutions. We covered Mylars’ cost-effectiveness and aluminums’ durability, but the one material that’s the gold standard for accuracy is glass. When it comes to accuracy, Glass encoder discs are the gold standard. The chemical properties of glass allow highly accurate etchings that can withstand minor temperature changes.
Glass Encoder Discs: The Gold Standard
Glass is an ideal material choice for any project that requires a high degree of accuracy.
Because of its material properties, the surface of the glass is flat and has good tensile strength, so it lends itself to engravings without cracking or breaking. That means etchings can be made with incredible accuracy. This is great news for encoder disc manufacturers like us because it means we can create code tracks with a large number of clear slots.
With more slots in the code track, glass disc encoders can track even minute changes in position or speed. Plus, the clearly defined etchings decrease the chances of a misreading while the encoder is in use.
Glass encoder discs are also relatively resistant to temperature changes so they can be used in some more extreme environments without sacrificing accuracy.
Things To Consider With A Glass Encoder Disc
While glass encoder discs are ideal for precision applications, they come with a few drawbacks. For one, glass is fragile and susceptible to breaking in applications where excessive vibration is the norm, like drilling equipment. For those reasons, it’s best to go with a more sturdy material, like Aluminum, for more extreme applications.
Glass discs are also more expensive to manufacture than their counterparts. So if cost is a concern, Mylar discs are a more viable option.
Build Your Custom Glass Encoder Disc with Photo Solutions
At Photo Solutions, we primarily use soda-lime glass for our glass encoder discs and scales, but we can also utilize borosilicate glass for high-temperature applications. We manufacture transmissive or reflective encoder discs using chrome (or gold) on glass for the highest accuracy and performance. We manufacture discs with ODs ranging from 5mm – 300mm and thicknesses from .010″ to .120″.
You’ll find our glass encoder discs on dynamic measurement tools, autonomous automation equipment, and even hand-held medical equipment. With a custom glass encoder disc, you get superior motion feedback you can rely on for all your mission-critical designs.