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The Effect of Multiple Antireflective Coatings and Center Thickness on Resistance of Polycarbonate Spectacle Lenses to Penetration by Pointed Missiles

CHOU, B RALPH MSc, OD, FAAO; GUPTA, ALINA OD; HOVIS, JEFFERY K. OD, PhD, FAAO

doi: 10.1097/01.opx.0000187846.82423.94
Articles: Original Article

Purpose. Previous work has shown that the impact resistance to blunt missiles is affected by coatings applied to either CR-39 or polycarbonate lenses. We investigated the effects of multiple antireflection (minimum angle of resolution [MAR]) coatings on the resistance of polycarbonate lenses to puncture on impact by sharp, high-speed missiles.

Methods. Four groups of surfaced plano polycarbonate lenses were investigated. Two groups had a scratch-resistant (SR) coating applied to both surfaces. One of these groups had a 2-mm center thickness and the other had a 3-mm center thickness. The other two groups of 2-mm and 3-mm thick lenses had a MAR coating applied over the SR coating. The lenses were impacted by a missile consisting of an industrial sewing machine needle mounted in a cylindrical aluminum carrier.

Results. The sharp missiles were able to pierce the lenses at speeds between 29.6 m/s and 46.2 m/s. Impact resistance was lowest for the thinner lenses and lenses with a MAR coating. The effect of the MAR and lens thickness was subadditive.

Conclusions. We have confirmed previous observations that polycarbonate lenses are more susceptible to penetration by sharp, high-speed missiles than blunt missiles. We have also found that reducing lens center thickness and applying a MAR coating further reduces the penetration resistance. Therefore, the use of 2-mm center thickness and MAR-coated polycarbonate lenses should be discouraged for industrial eye protectors where sharp missile hazards are possible.

School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Received April 7, 2005; accepted August 3, 2005.

© 2005 American Academy of Optometry