Thermal expansion and contraction of metals is one of the biggest challenges designers face when dealing with extreme environments.  As materials get hot or get bitterly cold, the resulting stresses on the housings cause performance problems for the optic lense.

In optics applications, this dictates the need for elaborate housing designs and even bolt-on heating/cooling mechanisms to keep the optics within a manageable working environment.

Not anymore.

ALLVAR Alloy-16 is the only metal in the world that reacts completely opposite of other materials. It shrinks when it gets hot, and expands when it gets cold, offering a passive solution to Extreme optics that can save weight, time, and money.

Alloy-16 offers a NTE (Negative Thermal Expansion) of -16 ppm /  ℃, operating passively and reliably in extreme environments from 100℃ to Cryogenic temperatures.

Could Alloy-16 be used to compensate for the positive CTE of other materials to ensure an improved performance of optics or instrumentation?

What can you do with a NEGATIVE CTE metal?  

Welcome to our world BELOW Zero.