Fog occurs whenever there is a dramatic temperature and humidity difference between two surfaces.

This is an annoying phenomenon that causes blurred vision due to the tiny droplets that form on surfaces.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2,000 U.S. workers suffer from job related injuries.

Remarkably, adopting appropriate safety eyewear can prevent nearly 90% of these injuries.

Furthermore, a research conducted by the Foundation for Traffic Safety established that a high number of crashes are attributed to the fogging phenomenon.

This is quite evident from this data:

fogging problem data

As a result, a number of companies in the eye and face protection industry have invested billions of dollars to find a permanent solution to this problem.

So far, there are over 13 anti-fog products that are based on polycarbonate.

At every stage, they conduct strict anti-fog quality tests that conform to both the ASTM and ECE standards.

Through this, they have managed to develop reliable anti-fog solutions.

By 1966, NASA has begun exploring different ways to eliminate fogging menace.

The search for a better solution accelerated with the launch of the Gemini Program.

Later in March, 2011, the quest to have a permanent and eco-friendly anti-fog solution got another momentum.

This was after researchers in the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering, Université Laval successfully proved that hydrophilic ingredients form a permanent anti-fog solution.

This research was mainly based on the use of polyvinyl alcohol, which is a hydrophilic compound.

It is a compound that forces water droplets to spread uniformly into a thin transparent film.

The thin water film does not alter the optical properties of a surface, thereby maintaining its optical class 1 properties.

Furthermore, by using a superior bonding or coating mechanism, the hydrophilic coating can withstand several washings.

An anti-fog visor with one side having no anti-fog coating

The good news is, at the moment, there is a range of permanent hydrophilic anti-fog solutions for nearly all applications.

Furthermore, you can also consolidate it with other surface treatments.

For instance, polycarbonate  is not inherently scratch resistant.

This implies, it can easily scratch hence, having a short service lifespan.

To improve its performance, hydrophilic anti-fog solution can be used alongside anti-scratch coating.

That is, an anti-scratch will be on one side while the anti-fog on the opposite end.

Other surface treatment technologies include, photochromic, iridium coating, polarized, mirror coating, chrome coating, tinted, hydrophobic, etc.

So far, there are many products with anti-fog technology. Let’s review some of them.

Anti-fog Products Based on Polycarbonate

Here is a list of all the 13 polycarbonate products that use hydrophilic anti-fog coating:

  1. Anti-fog goggles

Anti-fog goggles

There are many types of anti-fog goggles available in the market for different applications such as swimming, racing, cycling, etc.

The design of these anti-fog safety goggles is such that the anti-fog coating is on the inside, with other surface treatments on the outside surface.

Some of the most common treatments include anti-glare, anti-scratch, mirrored surface etc.

  1. Anti-fog helmet visor

Anti-fog helmet visor

Anti-fog helmet visors come in a wide range of designs such as hockey visors, football visors, motorcycle visors, etc.

The anti-fog coating and surface treatments are applied the same way like in the case of anti-fog goggles.

  1. Anti-fog face shield

anti-fog face shields

There are many anti-fog face shields available such as safety face shields, UV face shield, bionic face shield, ballistic face shields, etc.

The technology here is still the same as that of visors and goggles.

  1. Anti-fog film

Anti-fog film

This is a Nano material with anti-fog property. The most common anti-fog films are made from polycarbonate films, with another being polyester film.

These films have adhesives that form a perfect bond with the material surface. Some of the most common applications include anti-fog window film, anti-fog shower mirror film, refrigerator window film, etc.

  1. Anti-fog windshield

 

It is a hydrophilic coated anti-fog film with polycarbonate or polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The design and choice of adhesive maintain a continuous bond throughout the entire lifespan of anti-fog windshield.

They are a perfect choice for both glass and plastic windshields. These anti-fog windshields are flow or dip coated with hydrophilic ingredients to allow maximum transmission.

This guarantees zero distortion of images even in adverse weather conditions.

  1. Anti-fog camera lens

Anti-fog camera lens

IP camera lenses are used outdoors as part of modern security systems. They are prone to fogging, especially those without anti-fog solution.

With a hydrophilic anti-fog camera lens, the camera can capture clear images during all weather conditions.

  1. Anti-fog mask

Anti-fog mask

Modern diving anti-fog masks have hydrophilic compounds on their inner surface. This prevents the formation of water droplets (fog) due to frequent temperature fluctuation.

A suitable anti-fog mask guarantees safety during diving or snorkeling.

  1. Anti-fog glasses

anti fog glass

Anti-fog glasses have hydrophilic anti-fog coating on the inner surface with other surface treatments on the outer part.

There are many types of anti-fog glasses, depending on the unique application requirements such as anti-fog running glasses, anti-fog cycling glasses, anti-fog spectacles, anti-fog eye glasses, anti-fog prescription glasses, anti-fog safety glasses, etc.

  1. Anti-fog mirror

Anti-fog mirror

Bathrooms are known for excess moisture and fluctuating temperature. This increases formation of fog on mirrors without anti-fog coating.

Anti-fog mirrors have a thin anti-fog film to eliminate fogging. It is a flow or dip coated anti-fog mirror film with hydrophilic ingredients.

The anti-fog coating will remain effective for a longtime and it neither peels off nor cracks.

  1. Anti-fog speedometer

Anti-fog speedometer

Anti-fog speedometer has hydrophilic ingredients on the inside section to keep speedometer free from fog.

The drivers or cyclists are able to monitor their speed accurately without a parallax error that may be due to small water droplets (fog).

The outer surface of speedometers has an anti-scratch coating.

It can withstand several times of washing/cleaning.

  1. Anti-fog visor insert

 Anti-fog visor insert

Anti-fog visor inserts are anti-fog films with hydrophilic ingredients. They are circled with a back adhesive that users can stick on the helmet visors.

The anti-fog visor inserts are cost competitive and effective solution for motorcycle and football helmet visors.

  1. Anti-fog instrument cluster

 Anti-fog instrument cluster

An anti-fog instrument cluster ensures accurate and precise reading of variables/data.

Deploying instruments with anti-fog coating implies there is no possibility of parallax errors or invisible readings.

Anti-fog instrument cluster is fitted on the inside section with an anti-fog on the outer surface.

  1. Anti-fog headlamp

 Anti-fog headlamp

Automotive companies use anti-fog headlamps to ensure the vehicles illuminate sufficient light both at night or daytime.

Furthermore, this is the same technology they use to produce daytime running lamps (DRLs).

With an anti-fog headlamp, oncoming vehicles are visible even in extreme weather conditions (foggy conditions).

Conclusion

For a fact, hydrophilic anti-fog technology has revolutionized the anti-fog manufacturing industry.

Fogging is never a problem like it used to be several years ago.

With a permanent hydrophilic anti-fog coating, safety in industries has improved significantly.