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Anti-Fogging Treatments for New Masks. (a comparison of techniques)

Discussion in 'General Scuba Equipment Discussions' started by lowviz, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    OK, then. It's on me. You don't get rights of review. Straight up from my viewpoint.

    I'll post a new class report thread when I get it all together in my head. I have it on personal information that not just you but other women feel uncomfortable posting honest trip reports. This is a serious problem with this board.

    It was my great pleasure to dive with you. We drove 14 hours (two days each) from opposite directions. Neither of us regrets the time and effort. It is a shame that you feel hesitant to post your personal experience.
    Marie13 likes this.
  2. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    I learned recently that there are some problems occurring in Insulated glass units that have silicon spacer bars. The aluminum spacer bars are not as efficient but the silicone spacers create an interaction with the low E coatings. When I told the forensics investigators what I've learned here about silicone and the release agents migrating back onto the glass when stored in a closed environment they got quite excited and will be investigating silicone migration from off gassing now. I will try putting the antifoam on the mask before storing it to see if that keeps the silicone deposition at bay.

    It may have nothing to do with release agents and may be the silicone frame doing the deposition.
    lowviz and aviator8 like this.
  3. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike

    Interesting, but as I recall from when I was a productive member of society, Antifoam A likes to be in propylene glycol. I seriously considered it as a lens coating but backed off due to its issues.

    I'll be annoying Dow chem. tomorrow. Stay tuned...
    aviator8 likes this.
  4. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    Back onto the problem.

    I can't get past the fact that a 'cleaned' glass surface sheets water immediately after cleaning yet consistently fogs around the edges on use. Something is wrong here...

    Where I am now:

    Marine growth: https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms1251
    Roughness: https://www.researchgate.net/post/How_can_we_convert_hydrophobic_glass_to_hydrophilic
    HF: Household Products Database - Health and Safety Information on Household Products

    Maybe a light HF etch after several dishwasher runs?? I need to reassess the wrap-up to this investigation...
  5. Hatul

    Hatul Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tustin, California, United States
    I like the post quoting the advice from DGX. One I want to add is I avoid using anything that's a suspension (ie. not clear and not a chemical solution) as I found those leave powdery residue around the outside of the lens where it inserts into the silicone. The antifog that works well for me Jaws Spit; you smear is thoroughly over the dry lens with your finger and rinse a few times to get it all off. Sea Gold also works well.
  6. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    This problem of new mask fogging continues to frustrate me. (Apologies, been a while since I last posted but I haven't been sleeping on this issue) Read many, many articles since then.

    I still have other people's property in my possession who are also fundamentally interested in solving this:

    I now believe that the problem is two-fold. Remove the manufacturing silicone and then microstructure (aka 'season') the glass lens.

    Nanostructured surface https://www.nature.com/articles/srep09362
    "(G)lass surfaces with the properties of superhydrophobicity/or superhydrohydrophilicity, anti-condensation or low reflectance require nano- or micro-scale roughness, which is difficult to fabricate directly on glass surfaces."

    Acid vs. Alkali Corrosion Glass corrosion
    "When an alkali solution attacks a glass surface, the surface simply dissolves. This process continuously exposes a fresh surface which in turn is dissolved. As long as the supply of alkali is sufficient, this type of corrosion proceeds at a uniform rate."

    "Acid corrosion behaves quite differently. By dissolving the alkali in the glass composition, a porous surface is left that consists of the silica network with holes where the alkali has been removed by the acid. This porous surface slows the rate of attack since the acid must penetrate this surface layer to find alkali to dissolve.
    Corrosion by water is similar to acid corrosion in that alkali is removed from the glass surface. Water corrosion acts at a much slower rate. At high temperatures, however, water corrosion can become significant."

    Artificial weathering Artificial weathering of model glasses with medieval compositions...: Ingenta Connect
    "At a relative humidity below 70% the corrosion rate seems to slow down significantly."

    Extreme weathering Glass Corrosion: Weathering
    "We tend to think of glass as a very stable material that doesn’t corrode, but that isn’t always true. Glass can and does corrode. The chemical that is most harmful to glass is something we consider fairly harmless, namely water. Water leaches out the alkali components (sodium and potassium) from the glass causing microscopic damage. This process generally takes time, so washing your glasses in water is safe."

    Alkaline Cleaning The Sol-Gel Gateway: Tutorial on cleaning
    "The alkaline cleaning generally involves a light etching of the glass surface. The acid cleaning, although it may leach components from the glass surface, generally does not involve an etching of the glass."

    Super Aggressive Cleaning Piranha solution - Wikipedia
    "In the laboratory, this solution is sometimes used to clean glassware, though it is discouraged in many institutions and it should not be used routinely due to its dangers. …//… Piranha solution is used to make glass hydrophilic by hydroxylating the surface, thus increasing the number of silanol groups on the surface."

    Flaming Pretreatment Methods for Glass - The Inkcups Solution
    "This pretreatment method for glass was one of the first to become an industry standard for printing. Before being exposed to the flame, the glass is wiped down with a lint free towel or an isopropyl alcohol wipe. Flame treating uses high heat within the oxidation layer of the flame to increase the surface energy of the glass, which increases wettability."

    We press on. All suggestions welcome, as usual...
    Schwob, couv and АлександрД like this.
  7. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    I can only speak from my own experience. I prepare a dozen or so masks a year for students and friends

    I personally flame then toothpaste (twice - each time the lens being dry and I use an old tooth brush to get into the edges) as a clean.

    Occasionally after the first dive another toothpaste is needed - don't know why

    I don't know if flaming and tooth paste is better than just tooth paste (but playing with fire is fun)

    I've never seen the need to throw my mask into a dishwasher

    Then for diving. I just put a drop or tow of neat baby shampoo on my finger and rub onto a dry lens (in my experience if the lens is wet, its more likely not to apply a film)

    I probably leave it for a minute but sometimes longer, as long as it doesn't bake on (remember I dive in the Middle East.

    I personally rinse my mask once I'm in the water, a quick swill, flick out the water and as long as there are no suds, I'm good. Others do it off the boat

    I have found (after experimenting) That if rinsed in salt water the mask is unlikely to fog, but if rinsed in bottled or tap water (at air temp not chilled) it is more likely to fog. I don't know why that is - maybe something to do with the salt

    While I don't dive cold so there isn't that temp difference, if I wear my mask backwards before diving, perspiration condenses which can wash off shampoo film.

    The worst I get is a slight clouding on occasions (I have one piece glass so a little water let in and swilled around just nodding by my head, clears it)

    If teaching -in the pool, then pool water will quickly remove film and mask will fog (demoing mask floods) , doing the same in open water not so much - or more correctly I can do a couple more - probably the chlorine removing the film?
    АлександрД and lowviz like this.
  8. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    :) Toothpaste might 'microstructure' the glass, don't know, trying to find some way to test this...

    Takes all the release agent off both the skirt and lens. It is now my first step in finding some reproducible series of treatments that works for all masks.
  9. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: same ocean as you
    Yeah this is good but for peasants like me it's washing powder in a bucket of hot water and brushes
    lowviz likes this.
  10. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike

    The first trial of 'cleaning' alone (all the stuff above this post) was only partially successful. Not nearly good enough, I want to find some reasonable and inexpensive treatment(s) that produce a 'seasoned' mask.

    All eight Mako masks (and two seasoned ScubaPros) are in the dishwasher as I type this. Three more passes through the wash, randomize the Makos, test the next treatment...

    Proposed treatment: Light etch then convert surface to a 'water loving' state.

    1) Dishwasher removal of all release agents etc.
    2) Draino (sodium hydroxide) quick surface etch
    3) Wheel cleaner and drugstore peroxide (hydrofluoric acid + 3% H2O2 ) make the surface hydrophilic by adding silanol groups to the surface

    Does anybody have any other ideas?

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