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Laser Safety Products > Protective Eyewear > Glass Filters versus Polycarbonate Filters

Glass Filters versus Polycarbonate Filters

See also:
Laser Protective Eyewear
EN 207 and Laser Protective Eyewear
EN 208 and Laser Alignment Eyewear

Glass laser safety eyewear Polycarbonate laser safety eyewear

Lasermet offer a wide range of laser protective glasses which include both polycarbonate and glass filter eyewear. Users should be aware of the pro’s and con’s of each type of eyewear before making a decision on which to buy. In general the differences between the polycarbonate and glass eyewear are as follows:

Polycarbonate eyewear
  • Lightweight
  • Cost Effective
  • Available from stock
Polycarbonate laser eyewear Polycarbonate laser spectacle

Polycarbonate eyewear is extremely lightweight which means that it may be much more comfortable to wear than heavier glass filter eyewear. However, comfort is also very dependent on the frame style and different frame styles suit different people so you may wish to try the frame first before making a decision.

If cost is the primary factor affecting your decision then polycarbonate is likely to be the eyewear for you. However, if you are using lasers requiring high L number eyewear (see article on EN 207) make sure that the eyewear you intend to purchase will meet the required specification.

Lasermet keep a large stock of polycarbonate protective eyewear (part numbers beginning LM- only), so if you need the eyewear quickly this is the first place to look.

Glass filter eyewear
  • Higher protection levels
  • Better visibility
  • Generally more robust
Glass laser goggle Glass laser spectacle

Glass filter eyewear usually offers higher protection levels than polycarbonate filters for the same laser. Often the L numbers are greater by 2 or 3 for the D marking (CW or average power density rating), which means that it can withstand 100 or 1000 times as much power density. So if there is a possibility of being hit by a narrow collimated beam from a powerful laser then glass filter eyewear is likely to be required. But check the L ratings before deciding.

Whilst the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of many polycarbonate filters has improved in the last few years, it remains true that if you require high visibility then glass filter eyewear is likely to give you the best results. There are one or two exceptions to this rule so always check the VLT of the eyewear offered.

Eyewear varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer and from frame style to frame style, but generally speaking glass filter eyewear is more robust and less likely to break than polycarbonate eyewear. If you accidentally sit on polycarbonate eyewear, it will probably break, whereas glass filter eyewear may well be OK (but please try not to do this anyway!).

If in doubt over which eyewear to choose, please contact the Lasermet Sales Department.