What You Need to Know About Ultra Sonic Cleaning

By Daniel Ivan Molinari
The first step to attain proper adhesion of a coating to any substrate is to have a clean surface. This allows a suitable surface environment for the bonding of the coating to the substrate. Therefore this step is critical because without it, a dirty substrate can cause a domino effect throughout the adhesion of additional coatings such as an anti-reflective coating.

L&R’s goal in developing the Opti-Mate line of cleaners was to improve the adhesion properties and shorten overall processing time. The Opti-Mate line consists of two high pH formulations that have been tested and shown to be excellent for adhesion of the hard coat process. The Opti-Mate line has shown that with proper exposure time, lenses demonstrate increases in the level and quality of adhesion. The Opti-Mate line has also been used at lower concentrations for additional coating adhesion promotion. As an example, it can be used to prep the hard coat layer for subsequent coating such as an anti-reflective coat. The interaction that occurs between varying pH levels and surfactants is extremely important for attaining optimal results in lens adhesion. The excellent performance was achieved with high pH through the critical selection of the proprietary surfactants contained in these formulations.

Some liquid cleaners presently on the market involve a two-step cleaning process, which requires the use of a neutralizing step after exposure of the lenses to an alkaline substance. At the same time several rinses are used. Using only one cleaner without the need for a neutralizing factor allows for the elimination of one step in this process. Eliminating a neutralizing step decreases the overall time needed to process a set of lenses. The Opti-Mate line is a one step cleaning process. Thorough rinsing followed by final rinsing in de-ionized water is a common step amongst all cleaners.

L&R has developed two formulations that are available to labs; one is a powder and the other a liquid. Both cleaners have shown the same results. The difference in forms presents only a convenience to labs in that they can continue with a familiar form of use, whether it is a liquid or powder. The benefits of a liquid are ease of dilution and ready for use. The benefits of a powder are in its inherent higher concentration leading to lower shipping costs.

One of the other benefits of the Opti-Mate line is that when being used for processing lenses it can also be used at higher concentrations for the maintenance and cleaning of all steel instruments, which are used during the process. The Opti-Mate line has not only been proven effective in surface preparation, but also in removing the hardened coats left as a residue on steel lab instruments. During this process, a higher concentration of the cleaner is used along with higher temperatures of the solution in the ultrasonic units. Using one cleaner throughout the entire lab process means a lower probability for cross contamination by other detergent residues, which can be left on lens surfaces and instruments.

Authored by Daniel Ivan Molinari, new products manager, and Gordon Seaman, chemist. L&R manufacturing continues to provide quality products for a number of industries, including the optical industry since its inception over 75 years ago. For more information about Opti-Mate line of cleaners call 201 991-5330, ext. 234 or 299. Visit our web site at www.lrultrasonics.com

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Labtalk-November/December 2017