Most quartz glassblowers need different glasses than those working with pyrex or art glass. Why is this?
Safety Glasses for Quartz Working
Quartz melts at a higher temperature than art glass, and it doesn’t emit yellow sodium flare. Most other scientific glass and art glass emits some amount of sodium flare under a torch, but with quartz all you need to worry about is infrared (and the simple brightness of the torch) when shopping for safety eyewear.
There are instances, however, when quartzworkers will use other materials as part of a larger quartz piece. In these instances, they generally need a different lens to give them the protection they need.
If you are shopping for quartzworking glasses, here is what you need to know:
- Quartz melts at extremely high temperatures, and working with torches at those temperatures releases infrared, or IR, radiation, which is dangerous (and invisible) to the human eye.
- Scientific glass other than quartz, such as borosilicate, releases sodium flare in addition to inrared. In this case, our Phillips 202 lens (often referred to as didymium or rose glass) is the best lens choice. Because many quartz pieces involve other types of glass, our quartzworking glasses are made in split lenses with a lighter lens on top and a darker green lens on bottom.
- Our Phillips 202 lens protects against UV and sodium flare and is a bluish purple. It is not very dark, but it does not offer IR protection.
- Our Green Ace 3.0 lens protects from UV, IR, and sodium flare and is as dark as a welder’s green shade 3. It is a combination of welding green shade 3 and our Phillips 202 lens.
- Our Green Ace 5.0 lens protects from UV, IR, and sodium flare and is as dark as a welder’s green shade 5. It is a combination of welding green shade 5 and our Phillips 202 lens.
- Our P2-3 split lens is popular because it has a Green Ace 3.0 on bottom 2/3 to protect from IR, UV, and sodium flare, and a Phillips 202 lens on the top 1/3 to protect from UV and sodium flare.
- The P2-5 split lens is essentially the same as the P2-3. The difference is that the bottom 2/3 is darker (shade 5 instead of shade 3). Choosing between this and the P2-3 is a matter of personal preference, distance from your work, and brightness of your torch. Generally, the closer you are to your torch and the brighter it is, the more likely it is that you’ll need P2-5.
- The 3-5 split lens is our darkest. This has the Green Ace 3.0 on top and the Green Ace 5.0 on bottom. This is for going from brighter to dimmer working conditions, such as if you are working at different distances from the torch throughout the day.
Split lenses aren’t for all quartzworkers; many simply use our welding green lenses in the shade they prefer. Sometimes it can take a while to find the shade that works for you as it is a very personal thing, so if you don’t get it right the first time, don’t be disappointed!
In general, the lenses used by glassworkers (as opposed to quartz workers) are the Phillips 202, Green Ace 3.0, or Green Ace 5.0, depending upon their need. Quartz by itself only needs a welder’s green, though our Green Ace lenses work just as well, if not better (since they have welder’s green in them).
If you are interested in learning more about our lenses and other products, check out some of our other blog posts or give us a call. If you have any questions about quartzworking glasses specifically, drop us a note in the comments below, and thanks for reading!