Cambridge Viscosity Blog

CVI's Viscometers Support the Manufacture of Safety Eyewear

Jan 26, 2021 12:35:09 PM / by Patrick Riley

CVI helps ensure a high-quality coating on Honeywell safety gogglesSafety eyewear has never been more important than right now. In an industry that was already growing at a rate of 4% CAGR, with a projection to reach $3B by 2025, the COVID pandemic created a massive surge in demand for safety eyewear in 2020.

Honeywell Industrial Safety Group’s Smithfield, Rhode Island facility manufactures personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes high-performance safety glasses and goggles. One of the key elements that ensures a high-quality product is the coating on the lenses.

Honeywell safety eyewear – including the Uvex Genesis®, Uvex Protégé®, Uvex Seismic®, and Uvex Astrospec® brands – is available with anti-fog and anti-scratch coating. When coating is applied, viscosity is one of the properties that affect coating thickness on the lens. If coating thickness is too thick, clarity could be compromised. If too thin, the anti-fog and anti-scratch properties could be negatively impacted.

The biggest challenge in maintaining coating viscosity is how to deal with solvent loss from evaporation. Environmental controls are in placed to minimized solvent loss, but due to volatility, solvent loss is inevitable. To monitor coating viscosity, Honeywell uses Cambridge Viscosity’s ViscoPro controller and viscometers in their coating lines. The ViscoPro controller will determine and automatically add the proper amount of make-up solvent to maintain the ideal coating viscosity.

Cambridge Viscosity’s ViscoPro controller and viscometers were installed at Honeywell’s Smithfield site back in 2006. Despite being well over a decade old, the system is still running exactly as intended. However, the past few months have really put these viscometers to the test.

Since March 2020, Honeywell increased its capacity to manufacture safety goggles, such as the Uvex Stealth. The main drive for the expansion is to meet critical PPE demands for laboratories and hospitals due to COVID-19. Cambridge Viscosity’s ViscoPro controller and viscometers operating 24 hours every day without a single issue is essential to Honeywell’s success in meeting this demand.

Honeywell’s accomplishments during the past several months have been nothing short of impressive. In addition to ramping up their manufacturing processes for safety eyewear, Honeywell also – in the span of three months – created an entirely new production line that manufactures hundreds of thousands of N95 masks every day. While Cambridge Viscosity has no part of the N95 product line, we are proud of the work our customers are doing to help front-line workers during a pandemic.

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Tags: viscosity control, eyewear viscosity, Coating, process viscometer

Patrick Riley

Written by Patrick Riley

Vice President of Process Analytics

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