Laser safety goggles from Kentek Corp., Pittsfield, N.H., have lenses coated with a flexible, low-surface-energy hardcoat that helps dissipate moisture before it condenses and fogs the view.
The Fosta FogFree coating from Fosta-Tek Optics Inc., Leominster, Mass., will reportedly reduce the potential for eye injury because users can wear laser safety eyewear for longer periods.
Laser safety eyewear often fogs because it tends to be closer fitting than other types of safety eyewear. The close fit minimizes exposure to peripheral laser radiation, says Kentek President Tom MacMullin. "This reduces airflow around the lenses and increases the tendency to fog. Too often, laser operators remove their eyewear and expose themselves to potential injury." Laser work also creates intense concentrations of heat as well as ultraviolet, infrared, and reflected light radiation. Unprotected eye exposure to lasers may result in retinal burns, cataracts, and even blindness, says MacMullin.
"Traditional antifog coatings consist either of treatments to absorb condensation (which quickly become saturated) or dual-purpose coatings based on siloxane and wetting agents that have limited tolerance for water immersion and offer only temporary antifog properties," says Jim LeBlanc, vice president of Fosta-Tek. The new poly-hard-coat will be available on plano-polycarbonate lenses and will provide a durable, scratch-resistant surface able to withstand repeated cleanings with hot water and detergents.