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HQ 086734

MAY 2, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086734 H


TARIFF NO.: 7001.00.20

Mr. Robert Salzman
Glass Fab Inc.
P.O. Box 1880
Rochester, New York 14603

RE: Astrosital Glass ceramic ingots

Dear Mr. Saltzman:

This in reference to your inquiry concerning the tariff classification of astrosital glass ingots, from Russia, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS).


Astrosital low expansion glass ceramic is said to have an over 95 percent quartz content. It is used for optical mirrors and low expansion mechanical applications. Samples of the ingots, small cylindrical pieces, were submitted.


Whether the glass ceramic ingots are classifiable under the provision for cultured crystals, weighing not less than 2.5g each, in the form of ingot in subheadinG 3823.90.11, HTSUS, the provision for other qlass in the mass in subheading 7001.00.20, HTSUS, or an optical element of c, lass in subheadin% 7014.00.20, HTSUS.


The samples provided disclose that the import is glass- ceramic in cylindrical ingot form. Glass ceramics are formed by the nucieation of molten glass in a highly crystalline manner around certain types of metal oxides. These in=ots are not considered cultured cr~,~stals as described in the Explanatory Notes to heading 3823; such cultured crystals are essentially single component crystals grown from either solutions of magnesium oxide or solutions of halides cf alkali or alkaline earth metals. The astrosital glass-ceramic, on the other hand, is formed by a totally different process:
molten silica crystallizes around nucleating crystals of oxides of lithium and aluminum. As a result of this type of crystallization, the crystalline ]_attices, which consist of lithium aluminum silicates, are not as balancec as those found in cultured crystals.

As to whether or not the product is an optical element glass as found in subheading 7014.00.20, HTSUS, it is noted that none of the properties associated with optical glass, such as shape, focal plane or Abbe values are to be found in the ingots. Furthermore, a review of the optical properties of "sitall" glass ceramic shows it to have both index or refraction and mean dispersion properties typical of any glass-ceramic article.

The product is essentially a multi-phase solid, and because of this, the transmission of light through the product would be unpredictable, veering from a straight line as it passes from one phase to the next. This is not typical of an optical glass which must be more predictable and specific. In other words, the properties are such that it would be unsuitable for optical use, which requires accurate, precise, manipulation of light rays. The Explanatory Notes to heading 7014 show that the products considered in the provision are such things as lenses for automobile headlamps, road traffic lights, panel lights, etc., and blanks of optical elements that require optical working. Since the import is a rough ingot to be manufactured, it can not be considered to have .properties required to produce optical effects, and it is unlikely that the product would underoo optical working.


Based on the evidence submitted concerning the nature of product, it is concluded that the astrosital glass ingots are classifiable under the provision for other glass in the mass, not consisting of fused quartz or other fused silica, in subheading 7001.00.20, HTSUS. The rate of duty for a product of Russia is 50 percent ad valorem.


Jerry Laderberg
Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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