Polar Coat | Advanced Optics | Corning

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PolarCoat™: A Breakthrough Technology in the Polarized Field


At the high end of sunglass technology, polarized lenses not only reduce glare and improve sharpness, they also filter all disturbing reflections coming from horizontal surfaces on land (road, grass), water (sea, lake, wet soil) as well as dashboard reflections on windshields. Drivers, sportspeople, fishermen and many others will confirm: polarized lenses are unequaled.

But until now, the only polarized technology available was based on the insertion of a polarizing film into a sandwich of two lenses, glass or plastic, meaning thicker lenses, complex- thus costly- manufacturing processes, and the risk of delamination (by friction and wear, sweating, or thermal chocks).

Thanks to PolarCoat™ patented technology, the culmination of several years of research and through testing, lens manufacturers licensed by Corning can now apply a surface treatment with 99% of polarization efficiency (PE). This new coating, launched in early 2010, is applied on the backside of plano sunglass lenses. In the near future, it will be available for the front-side treatment of semi-finished prescription lenses and of bi-refringent materials such as polycarbonate and nylon.

PolarCoat™ Polarized Coating — A Long List of Benefits

  • PolarCoat™ closely follows the complex optical surfaces of all prescription designs
  • No sandwich = no risk of delamination
  • 99% PE. The reading of dashboard indicators, including head-up display, is not altered
  • Good fit with all refractive indexes materials - both plastic and glass
  • A neutral gray, 30% transmission value that leaves manufacturers a free hand for customization / darkening
  • Adapted to all base curves, without any bending problem (cracking of the polarizing film) PolarCoatTM can be used easily on the base 9 lenses of sporty, fashionable products
  • No problem with drilling / rimless frames
  • A scalable technology simplifying inventory management and facilitating on-demand manufacturing, quite useful for the prescription market 
  • A cost-effective technology that will allow polarized sunglass marketers to reach new targets
  • Optimization of the switching time to new models
  • A simple business model, dedicated to Corning's licensed partners who are supplied with the Polarizing Dye Solution (PDS), the activation chemicals, and of course the initial training.  

How is PolarCoat™ Technology Applied?

1. The surface of the substrate is first chemically treated, then mechanically brushed in a specific way to determine the future orientation of the molecule chains
2. The Polarizing Dye Solution (PDS) is applied 
3. Drying stage, during which the self-alignment of PDS molecules creates the polarizing effect
4. Chemical encapsulation of the polarizing layer
5. Primer with strong adhesive properties
6. Scratch-resistant protective layer (onto which an anti-reflective layer can also be applied)

Chemi: Corning’s new partner for PolarCoat™