If the anti-reflective (AR) coating on a lens has become damaged, it can inhibit the usefulness of the lens. Removing the damaged coating provides a temporary solution to the problem, and is necessary to repair the AR coating.
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Things you need
- Protective goggles
- Wooden tongs or chopsticks
- Sealable plastic container
- AR stripper (available from optometry supply outlets)
- Lint-free cloth
Put on your protective gloves and goggles and make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
Remove the lens from its frame or container and set the frame or container aside.
Pour enough of the AR stripper into the plastic container to fully submerge the lens, Seal the container and the AR stripper once you have filled the container.
Place a small corner of the lens in the solution by using tongs. This will allow you to test for unwanted reactivity without damaging the lenses. Watch for a change of colour in the AR stripper to an opaque white. If there is a change in colour, your lenses will not withstand the AR stripping process.
Submerge the lens, concave side up to avoid trapping bubbles, in solution with the tongs and seal the container.
Wait five to 10 seconds, then remove the lens with the tongs.
Rinse the lens under a faucet and dry with a lint-free cloth. If any coating remains, the lens can be resubmerged for an additional five to 10--rinse and dry the lens every time it is submerged.
Seal the plastic container for reuse or disposal.
Reinsert the lens into its frame or container.
Tips and warnings
- A premixed liquid AR stripper is preferable to a powdered form.
- Always test your solution on a small corner of the lens.
- Many optometrists will remove AR coatings, if asked, for a nominal fee.
- AR strippers generally contain hydrofluoric acid; this is a contact poison and must be treated with extreme caution.
- When using acids, always wear protective clothing and eyewear, and work in well-ventilated areas.
- Do not heat AR stripper.
- Do not allow metal to come in contact with the stripper; this can produce volatile hydrogen gas.
- Dispose of the stripper by sealing it in a plastic bottle and taking it to an appropriate waste disposal facility.
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