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Thread: AR/Hard coating machines

  1. #1
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    AR/Hard coating machines

    Could anyone tell me what brand of AR and/or hardcoating machines they use and what is the best on the market at present.

    I do not have much access to various systems and would like some feedback on different types of machines.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Allen Weatherby
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    Hard Coating

    What materials do you want to coat?

    Do you want backside coating only or do you wish to dip coat both sides?

    What is you anticipated daily volume?

    Do you want a thermal cured hard coat or a UV cured hard coat. The UV process takes about 1 min. while the thermal cure takes over one hour.

    Do you want new or used equipment?

    What is your budget range? (Please give in US dollars if possible)

    Once I have the answers to the above I can give you some choices.

  3. #3
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    Our coating involves hardcoating the back only (if we were to use a different machine). We currently strip all our lenses of hardcoat and dip coat them in our own hardcoat.

    We do Polycarbonate, CR39 and Hi index (up to 1.6)
    Daily volumes are around 2700 lenses.
    We do thermal curing at present, but have tried UV cured. UV curing does not work with our AR process, so we abondoned that idea (too many comebacks)
    We would prefer new equipment, but are not too fussy to look at used machines.
    Our budget range is not set yet. I would need to justify abondoning our current process and $ would not be the biggest issue.

    Our current process is working OK. However, I have heard of machines that do both hard and AR coating in a vacuum process. If this actually works well, it may be worth our while looking into it as our customer base is growing and we are offering more and more various types of AR coating.

    Thank you for your time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Websta
    Our current process is working OK. However, I have heard of machines that do both hard and AR coating in a vacuum process. If this actually works well, it may be worth our while looking into it as our customer base is growing and we are offering more and more various types of AR coating.
    I know of three and a half vacuum deposited hard coating process that were comerciallized. The 'half' was the old Dimonex process, Monsanto pulled the plug and that was the end of that. Leybold had (has?) a process I believe they called Sapphire which was a vacuum deposited hard coating. My recollection is that it was quite hard and generally tested well though there were issues with thermal shock (if I remember correctly). I took a quick look at Leybold's site and don't see anything about this process so maybe it's been discontinued.

    There is also the Satis Ioncoat process. My understanding is that this is esentially a very thick silica layer which may also include some organic content. I don't know much about it.

    There's also the Diaplas process, a plasma polymerization process. I think this might also be a Satis process but I know even less about it than the others.

    I can say that in my experience the in-vacuo hard coating processes are relativly slow in comparison to either ex-vacuo hard coating processes (spin or dip coating) or a typical AR process. This means that the throughput of your very expensive vacuum systems is dramatically reduced meaning the necessary capital investment for a fixed throughput goes way, way up.

    Now, understand that I'm a vacuum coating guy with a smattering of experience in just about all the sub-atmospheric thin and thick film deposition techniques out there. I really believe that the best hard coatings possible can only be made in a vacuum (or at least at some reduced pressure) especially if the lenses will be over coated with an AR coating. That's my opinion of the scientific reality. The business reality, however, is something else entirely. There are a number of great liquid applied hard coatings out there, these generally require considerably lower capital investment for a given throughput. Additionally the consumables and energy costs are lower than most vacuum processes. Finally the technical complexity of both the equipment and processes is substantially reduced as compared to vacuum applied processes.

  5. #5
    Rising Star mauroventura's Avatar
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    Hello Coda.
    The Old Leybold Safire Process is a Combination with A Hardcoat Layer Made by a SiO2 together A Special Monomher and Water , and a conventional A.R. pack .
    This kind of process is made using 2 E.B. gun and a old LEybold APS equipment (Advanced Plasma Source= something like a IOn gun ...BUt more more strong).

    One EB GUN is performed only for the SiO2 and the second is for the A.R. pack.
    This kind of process is not so simple even if the result is excellent for CR-39 substrates.:)


    Mauro Ventura

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    Allen Weatherby
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    How was the monomer applied?

    Hi Mauro:

    Was the monomer and water applied before the vacuum process?

    What was the cycle time for this process? Why was it not continued?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AWTECH
    Hi Mauro:

    Was the monomer and water applied before the vacuum process?

    What was the cycle time for this process? Why was it not continued?
    Mauro's post was enough to knock some pieces in place in my memory, so here's a shot at your question.

    The monomer and water were added during the in-vacuo deposition of the hard coat layer. If I remember correctly the ratios of the evaporated silica (actually probably a slight sub-oxide) and the monomer were varied through the thickness of the coating allowing a graded organic content in the film. This improved the overall mechanical strength of the coating, provided a significant surface hardness and resulted in good bonding with the surface. I no longer remember if the monomer was evaporated (thermally) or added as a gas, maybe Mauro can enlighten us.

    It did result in, as Mauro states, a very good hard coat on CR-39. I don't know what it's compatability was with other lens materials.

  8. #8
    Rising Star mauroventura's Avatar
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    Safire cicle time

    Hello AWTech,
    Normally the Safire cicle time was 80-90 minutes for each surface.
    I don't know exactly the reason why Leybold Optics has not developed this kind of technolgy. My suspect is that :
    1) The Technology of A.P.S. is very expensive in terms of spare parts and consumables so it's very good for fine optics or D.W.D.M. coatings but not for Ophtalmic in which people required fast process and low cost of maintenance.

    2) This kind of process is too much ' dirty ' and the chamber need to be cleaned very well every cicle ,and this operation take time :( .

    Finally I think that this kind of technology can give surprise to the world of the opthalmic coating , unfortunately it needs to be developed in lab and this means A lot of Money .

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    OptiBoard Professional sharon m./ aboc's Avatar
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    engineer?

    [I thought you said you had no optical experience and you're and emgineer by tradeQUOTE=coda]I know of three and a half vacuum deposited hard coating process that were comerciallized. The 'half' was the old Dimonex process, Monsanto pulled the plug and that was the end of that. Leybold had (has?) a process I believe they called Sapphire which was a vacuum deposited hard coating. My recollection is that it was quite hard and generally tested well though there were issues with thermal shock (if I remember correctly). I took a quick look at Leybold's site and don't see anything about this process so maybe it's been discontinued.

    There is also the Satis Ioncoat process. My understanding is that this is esentially a very thick silica layer which may also include some organic content. I don't know much about it.

    There's also the Diaplas process, a plasma polymerization process. I think this might also be a Satis process but I know even less about it than the others.

    I can say that in my experience the in-vacuo hard coating processes are relativly slow in comparison to either ex-vacuo hard coating processes (spin or dip coating) or a typical AR process. This means that the throughput of your very expensive vacuum systems is dramatically reduced meaning the necessary capital investment for a fixed throughput goes way, way up.

    Now, understand that I'm a vacuum coating guy with a smattering of experience in just about all the sub-atmospheric thin and thick film deposition techniques out there. I really believe that the best hard coatings possible can only be made in a vacuum (or at least at some reduced pressure) especially if the lenses will be over coated with an AR coating. That's my opinion of the scientific reality. The business reality, however, is something else entirely. There are a number of great liquid applied hard coatings out there, these generally require considerably lower capital investment for a given throughput. Additionally the consumables and energy costs are lower than most vacuum processes. Finally the technical complexity of both the equipment and processes is substantially reduced as compared to vacuum applied processes.[/QUOTE]
    sharon

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon m./ aboc
    I thought you said you had no optical experience and you're and emgineer by trade
    Oh no, I've got a lot of experience with optics (ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic) and I'm an engineer (primarily coatings). What I've said was that I'm not one of the three O's.

    Who do you think develops, designs and makes lenses? Engineers, that's who! Well, ok there are scientists and line workers and warehouse workers and administrators and (though we geeks are loath to admit it) marketeers and sales people.

    Unless of course you thought I was one of those guys who drives trains! Thought I do bet that's a fun job too. :D

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    The company I work for recently set up a complete surfacing and coating lab. Prior to ar coating my lenses ( my vacuum deposition chamber coats 75 lenses at a time), I was trained to manually engrave tray numbers on the lenses to be able to match them to their trays once the process is complete. This has proved to be time consuming and in some cases, leads to redos because the engraving does not cut out during edging. I am searching for alternatives. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance...
    Angel

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    Advice on Hard Coat After AR coating

    Hi All,

    I have done AR Coating on a PC substrate. I need to further coat a HARD COAT on top of the AR coating layer.
    Does anyone has experience in this field. Can you pls advise me on the process to do this.

    Thanks :)

  13. #13
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janaghanamana View Post
    Hi All,

    I have done AR Coating on a PC substrate. I need to further coat a HARD COAT on top of the AR coating layer.
    Does anyone has experience in this field. Can you pls advise me on the process to do this.

    Thanks :)
    Sorry, you can't do that. It will destroy the effectiveness of the AR. The AR needs to be the top layer.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Machol View Post
    Sorry, you can't do that. It will destroy the effectiveness of the AR. The AR needs to be the top layer.
    Thanks Steve Machol. Is there any way to increase the hardness of the AR coating layer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Websta View Post
    Our coating involves hardcoating the back only (if we were to use a different machine). We currently strip all our lenses of hardcoat and dip coat them in our own hardcoat.

    We do Polycarbonate, CR39 and Hi index (up to 1.6)
    Daily volumes are around 2700 lenses.
    We do thermal curing at present, but have tried UV cured. UV curing does not work with our AR process, so we abondoned that idea (too many comebacks)
    We would prefer new equipment, but are not too fussy to look at used machines.
    Our budget range is not set yet. I would need to justify abondoning our current process and $ would not be the biggest issue.

    Our current process is working OK. However, I have heard of machines that do both hard and AR coating in a vacuum process. If this actually works well, it may be worth our while looking into it as our customer base is growing and we are offering more and more various types of AR coating.

    Thank you for your time!
    Hi There,

    are you saying that you AR Coat your Product first, then hard coat
    or is it Hard Coated first then AR coated?

    Thank s:)

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