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Old January 20, 2021, 11:12 AM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Need Materials Specialist - Scope Body Material?

Okay, so N-vision has produced a new, ultra high end thermal weapon sight with laser range finder. However, the body of the optic is this weird plasticky, mottled, ugly garbage-looking that in previous years I have come to associate with cheap products. What is it and is it now really good? Does it have some sort of superior qualities that make it well suited for this application?

Here is an image. You can see the uneven texture of the material.

https://nvisionoptics.com/product/halo_xrf/

I am really curious, because my impression of the material is that it does not hold up well, at least based on products I have had in the past that were made out of it, or something closely resembling it.
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Old January 20, 2021, 03:34 PM   #2
HiBC
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Looking at the pic,its a "filled" polymer,or plastic.
A little bit like fiberglass cloth in an epoxy resin,or the glass flock in Accraglas.
I can only tell so much from a glance at a photo.Only that I recognize the cosmetic.
I stopped building molds in the late 90's. I'm sure there a generations of wonder resins I've never heard of.
A commonly used black filled polymer is/was graphite filled nylon. Good,tough,stable material. Your graphite spinning reel might be made of it.It would not surprise me if Glock and S+W handgun frames were molded from it.
But I cannot say by looking "Its 40% graphite Nylon 6/6" You get that off the bag label,like reloading powder.
As far s "Could it make a good optic product?" Then "Will it make a good product? " Those are two very different questions.There are a lot of variables.
Example? Nylon is a hygroscopic material. It sucks moisture from the air. You can dry your material in a dessicant bed dryer to acceptable "very dry" level,and then as little as 15 or 20 minutes exposure in an open hopper can cost you 40% 0r 60% of the engineering properties of the material.
imagine the water trapped at a molecular level turning to steam in the 450 deg barrel of the mold press,as it is injected into the mold at around 12,000 psi.. Have you ever done the old "crush a gallon can" Mr Wizard trick with putting a tablespoon of water in the can,heating it till the water turns to steam,then screw the cap on the can? As the steam cools,the can is crushed.
The same idea happens inside the mold. Sinks,voids,porosity,surface splay.
I could see evidence of how the plastic flowed through the mold.How the mold is gated and vented matters a lot.When plastic flows around a core to make a tube,often two flow fronts come together.The surface has a slightly cooled skin.These surfaces have to weld together.The weld line has different properties. Actually,if venting is not sufficient,air is trapped. As compression heats the air.as in a diesel,it gets hot enough to scorch the weld line,
This all matters when you need roundness ,or sealing surfaces.
Top notch molding can make really good parts. The Austrian Glock factory might make better molded parts than a low bid Asian facility.

I'm telling you there is not an absolute answer.
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Old January 21, 2021, 01:13 AM   #3
dyl
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I remember seeing this: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/ge...-scope-mounts/ carbon fiber scope mounts. Wonder if it's a similar idea.
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Old January 21, 2021, 07:23 AM   #4
Double Naught Spy
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Thanks, guys. The material looks like what these folks use to make this battery holder, only we have seen these break...
https://tnvc.com/shop/tnvc-thermal-r...71624755859375

Got a call into N-Vision. They sidestepped the question as to the material by stating it is the same that they have been using and it has had no problems.
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Old January 21, 2021, 10:54 AM   #5
Unclenick
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The problem in this instance is judging this book by its cover is likely impossible. The same appearance can found in injected PE foam and other plastics. What you want to look at are the same things the engineer designing it did: hardness, abrasion resistance, Izod impact strength, thermal coefficient of expansion, solvent resistance, etc. It also might be chosen for IR properties, like reflectivity and emissivity or even just thermal conductivity and effusivity to minimize interference with thermal sensors. Doesn't sound like N-vision is willing to supply that information, and I'm guessing you won't want to pay for the destructive testing of a copy to find out. About all I can suggest is scrutinizing their warranty closely to be sure you are covered for the conditions in which you will use it and that it lasts long enough to keep you from losing your investment.
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