Coating PEELING off??? (Lenscrafters)

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by bstevens, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. bstevens

    bstevens Guest

    We've bought glasses from Lenscrafters for over 25 years now, and
    they've always been very sharp and durable, lasting 4-8 years before
    replacement, and even then, we just replace them because the
    prescription changed.

    My last couple of glasses from them, however, gives me reason for
    concern. After about a year, the coating starts PEELING off. It starts
    right at the very edge. When it starts, you can see a very tiny row of
    "ripples" right on the edge of the lens - we're talking very tiny, less
    than .5mm wide - running for about an inch or so along the edge of the

    Over time, it spreads around the circumference of the lens, and you can
    see a line gradually moving inwards, where the coating is literally
    peeling or flaking off. It's pretty hard to see, you have to hold it up
    to the light and look real close. My current glasses are a year and a
    half old, and the line has moved inward about 1/8" from about half the

    Note: these are NOT scratches. It is peeling or flaking. My last pair
    did this, and after a couple of years, about half the surface of the
    lens was peeled off. I bought a new pair about a year ago, and now THEY
    are doing it, and I have been super-careful to clean them with a lens
    cleaner and soft cloth, only occasionally using a tissue.

    The new manager at the LC where I bought them is an idiot: long, greasy
    hair over his shoulders, dirty tennis shoes, baggy pants... where do
    they HIRE these people????!!! He just said well, if you clean them with
    water and a soft tissue or cloth, "that coating'll come right offa
    there." He wouldn't discuss it further.

    These are Featherwates, WITHOUT the AR coating, which is too soft. I
    always tell them I want maximum scratch-resistance, which includes some
    kind of anti-scratch coating. I need the Featherwates because my
    prescription is pretty thick: -5.75/-5.50 w/astigmatism.

    Now my wife needs to replace hers. She bought hers at LC *8* years ago,
    and has abused them horribly. She does medical work, and constantly
    wipes them with her scrubs or lab coat, yet they STILL look like she
    bought them yesterday! Not a scratch on them! Given my experiences the
    last 3 or 4 years, I'm worried that now she's going to have the same
    problem I've had.

    Her prescription is unremarkable: OD -2.0 sphere, OS -1.5 -.5
    cylinder, add +1.5.

    Can anybody give us a tip here? For reasons I won't go into, we'd like
    to stay with LC, but this "peeling coating" problem really bothers me.
    What the heck is going on?

    Ron M.


    ("reply to:" above won't work)
    bstevens, Nov 21, 2006
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  2. wrote in
    Vote with your feet. You have a customer service issue, which is that your
    lenses didn't last their expected lifetime, and you weren't offered any
    satisfaction. Why would you go to a provider you're unhappy with?
    Scott Seidman, Nov 21, 2006
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  3. bstevens

    Salmon Egg Guest

    The only way to get truly durable coatings is to use real glass lenses and
    deposit the coating by evaporation with the lenses heated to high

    I do mean durable. Good coatings deposited that way just will not come off
    unless you really work at it. Poor technique, of course, can change a good
    process into garbage. By hot, I also mean very hot, 250°C minimum for single
    layers of magnesium fluoride on glass. It is very difficult to find a place
    that will do that these days. If you find one, let me know.

    There are coating laboratories charging high prices that will make hard
    coatings but it is not economically feasible for spectacle lenses.

    -- Fermez le Bush
    Salmon Egg, Nov 22, 2006
  4. That said, put a number on the expected lifetime of a lens. As a consumer,
    my number is two years. If a coating fails before that time through no
    fault of my own before two years, I would expect the optical shop to do
    more than say "that's life".
    Scott Seidman, Nov 22, 2006
  5. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I don't know where you have been living, but the newer A/R coatings
    like Crizal are incredibly durable, and come with a minimum of a two
    year warranty. It all had to do with finding the right coating for the
    particular polymer substrate.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 22, 2006
  6. bstevens

    bstevens Guest

    Thanks for all the comments, not that they really change anything.
    Obviously, LC has changed its processes. My whole family has bought
    glasses there, always the Featherwates Plus, and until the last 3 or 4
    years, they've lasted as long as 8 years. Sure, they might get
    virtually invisible scratches on them from normal wear after a few
    years, but in general they stay looking perfectly new.

    The "peeling" I've described is on the front, and starts about 12
    months after buying them.

    One person said poly is sensitive to chemicals. Would this include
    chemicals like the standard blue Windex glass cleaner? I've used that a
    number of times to clean them; could that be a factor? What about
    dishwashing liquid?

    Thanks again,
    Ron M.
    bstevens, Nov 22, 2006
  7. bstevens

    Salmon Egg Guest

    I once got a Crizal coating. I was surprised that it lasted two years. But
    after two years, it deteriorated rapidly.

    Have you had any experience with modern hot coatings such as used on high
    quality camera lenses or laser rods? Typical materials used are magnesium
    fluoride, silica, titanium dioxide (not always very durable), silicon
    monoxide, thorium fluoride and various other metal oxides. These are tested
    with rubber erasers and Scotch tape. Will Crizal pass such tests?

    With the trend toward plastic lenses, hot coatings are not feasible.

    -- Fermez le Bush
    Salmon Egg, Nov 22, 2006
  8. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Without a doubt. I clean my glasses with paper towels just to convince
    myself. The coating is still intact.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 23, 2006
  9. bstevens

    bstevens Guest

    It looks like this may have been the culprit. In all 3 of the glasses
    this "peeling" has happened with, I have frequently cleaned them using
    a small bottle of Windex I keep in my office. A guy at LC said to avoid
    any chemicals containing alcohol or ammonia; they will definitely get
    the coating started coming loose, starting at the edges as mine did.

    Dishwashing soap MIGHT be OK, but it's hard to say, because so many of
    them contain perfumes, antiseptics, and a bunch of other chemicals.

    Ron M.
    bstevens, Nov 23, 2006
  10. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I think it's rather obvious that your wife's coating is factory
    applied. Your lenses, because of the prescription, are surfaced, and
    the coating is applied in the lab.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 23, 2006
  11. bstevens

    bstevens Guest

    Nope, we got hers at LC, just like mine. Featherwates Plus. One
    difference is that she has NEVER used glass cleaner on hers. She has,
    however, used 91% alcohol, which is supposed to be a no-no....? Can
    somebody please clarify this thing about using alcohol?

    bstevens, Nov 23, 2006
  12. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    You evidently misunderstood. "LC" purchases their lens blanks. Stock
    lenses can be purchased from the manufacturer with the coating already
    applied to both sides. But, in higher prescriptions, the lenses are
    ground, or "finished" on the back surface by the lab, with the SC
    applied afterwards. Fewer problems generally arise with
    factory-applied coatings as opposed to coatings applied by finishing

    Why does your wife use 91%?

    The next time around, make sure not to order polycarb, and make sure
    that your lenses have a finish such as Alize, Crizal, or Zeiss Carat.
    You'll pay more, of course.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 23, 2006
  13. bstevens

    Salmon Egg Guest

    Paper towels should be a snap. Erasers test durability and Scotch tape tests

    -- Fermez le Bush
    Salmon Egg, Nov 28, 2006
  14. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Ya, well we generally try to discourage using erasers and scotch tape
    on lenses. 3M used to provide a kit with a piece of steel wool to
    demonstrate the toughness of their anti-scratch coating. Maybe we need
    to revisit that little gimmick.
    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 28, 2006
  15. bstevens

    Salmon Egg Guest

    With hard hot coatings on glass, discouragement would not be necessary.

    -- Fermez le Bush
    Salmon Egg, Nov 28, 2006
  16. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I hate to say this, but I think you might be a bit out of step with the
    times. Polymers are much lighter than glass, and are also safer.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 30, 2006
  17. bstevens

    Salmon Egg Guest

    I will admit to be a stick-in-the-mud. I still like old fashioned hardware
    stores. Book stores where you can handle weird books. I liked fly fishing
    before it was yuppified.

    Besides, there still are coating houses that make superbly durable coatings.
    They just do not find their way onto ophthalmic lenses.

    -- Fermez le Bush
    Salmon Egg, Dec 1, 2006
  18. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I can relate. I still don't use a food processor. I remember a great
    bookstore in Evanston, Illinois called Great Expectations. There used
    to be another good one here in Dallas, called Major's Scientific
    Books.....Ah, well.
    No doubt, but the cost for ophthalmic goods would probably be too high.
    Judging from the tone of this NG, most people want cheaper, not

    Dr. Leukoma, Dec 1, 2006
  19. bstevens

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    My bad. I should have said cheaper AND better, but sometimes the two
    are mutually exclusive.

    Dr. Leukoma, Dec 1, 2006
  20. bstevens

    Salmon Egg Guest

    I am sure that the real problem is that dispensing opticians do not want a
    hot vacuum coating station around. In the old days, almost anyone could do
    the hot magnesium fluoride coatings. The true key to success was to clean
    the glass well. When the coating was the correct thickness, it had a
    distinctive bluish purple color so that the need for a thickness monitor was
    eliminated. My guess is that conversion to plastic eliminated all hot

    -- Fermez le Bush
    Salmon Egg, Dec 1, 2006
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