Sapphire is Cheap. What Can We Do With It?


A few years ago making something out of sapphire was in the realm of luxury and exotic applications. Swiss watches, iPhone camera covers and semiconductor components come to mind, hardly anything in common here. What happens next is a spectacular possibility of using sapphire in home goods and anywhere else where transparency is required. Touch it all you want, try to scratch it and be prepared to be amazed how hard sapphire really is. And these days it’s cheap. It’s being commoditized, foundries around the corner anywhere are taking the cost of this material out. So, we thought of putting it to good use in a sight glass. It’s industrial, it’s high temperature capable, it’s strong. Why not try to use it in something so common as a sight glass.


Our design is done so far, next is pricing the piece parts; why not from a number of suppliers. Meanwhile, allow me to share some CAD-generated pictures of what the thing will look like. Yes, we did a stress analysis at 500 psi and 500C, that is Pounds Per Square Inch of pressure and Centigrade degrees of temperature. At 500 C, this is high temperature no doubt for such a common product, but sapphire can hold it. We’ll call it 500-500 sight. Makes good technical sense and sounds good for marketing purposes. We are in the process of making this in small quantities in several sizes. Let’s see what happens at testing.

I know it’s a shameless plug for our next wiz-bang possible product, this is not the point I want to make here. Where the commoditization is taking us, I really want to know. Anything, products, materials, skills it seems too, are like fast friends. While the wheel is spinning, perseverance, sincerity, and genuine desire to solve the needs of others comes to fore, no?