Would you remove scratches from a Lexan window?

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by mutantmoose, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. mutantmoose

    mutantmoose Rookie

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    Okay, this is as much an ethical question as a technical one, so here goes:

    For woodworking, I use MicroMesh, which is an abrasive used to remove very fine scratches from a surface and create a smooth, glossy sheen. It was invented to remove scratches from airplane windows.

    The question - if you had a mask that had a lexan window, and there were light surface scratches (not deep gouges, nothing will fix those AFAIK), would you consider using something like Micormesh to remove them, or would you insist on replacing the window? (For sake of argument, the window has been used for, say, three months, and has a date stamp within the last 15 months.)

    Would you repair, or replace? If it was not your own mask, repair or replace?

    My gut feeling - if it's not mine, then I would insist on replacement. But I'm not sure I would be correct in doing so, just extra cautious.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Alex_Paul

    Alex_Paul Podium

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    i would throw the mask out and buy an LP one!

    Ours are the only ones with an easily and cheaply replaceble scratch layer to prevent the main layer of Lexan from ever getting scratched!

    Alex
     
  3. Phaeton

    Phaeton Rookie

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    Best.Product.Plug.Ever.
     
  4. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

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    Appendix A to the Material rules, section 2 includes the following statement:

    "The polycarbonate transparent visor (Lexan) must have a minimum thickness of 3.0 mm, and a protective layer against damage to the outside surface is recommended."

    Based on this, unless you were able to measured the panel thickness (and I wouldn't assume uniform thickness throughout the entire panel) then it wouldn't be unreasonable to err on the side of caution and insisting on replacement.

    Personally I would lean toward replacement even if the panel thickness did exceed 3.0 mm - if nothing else it might encourage people to buy masks that comes with the recommended protective layer on the outside, preferably one that can easily be replaced (such as LP).
     
  5. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    From a technical standpoint, I don't see any problem with resurfacing the lexan with micromesh. It really wouldn't affect thickness or strength. However, from a paranoid just-in-case standpoint, I wouldn't do it. There would always be that thought in the back of my mind that I wouldn't want a saber blade sharing.
     
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  6. swordsen

    swordsen Rookie

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    I'd refinish it.
     
  7. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 Podium

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    I'd refinish it...also [gasp] I'd just go ahead and buy the LP scratch shield for use with my non-LP visor mask. A little trimming (since LP has the biggest shield) and badda-bing you have yourself your very own scratch shield!!!
     
  8. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    That assumes they have the same curvature...
     
  9. keith

    keith Rookie

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    well if they don't you can always soak the lexan in acetone to soften it up a bit.
     
  10. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    The curature wouldn't matter for the scratch shield. It is a film like they have to put on your car windows except they are clear. You could make your own. The material is readily available. You would need to cut it to fit.
     
  11. HDG

    HDG Podium

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    Is this safe? Does it weaken the lexan?
     
  12. keith

    keith Rookie

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    course it's safe.

    If the lexan is not softening enough it sometimes helps to warm it with a blowtorch immediately after removing it from the acetone bath
     
  13. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    Better yet, while it's still in the acetone bath.

    -B
     
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  14. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 Podium

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    In actuality the scratch shield from LP is a reasonably thin straight piece of clear plastic that manages to not really affect the clarity of your visor. It bends and is easily cut with scissors or an exacto knife.
     
  15. Cookeit

    Cookeit Rookie

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    is the window conductive?
    if not, wouldn't this give it an advantage over the metal masks?
     
  16. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    Yes, that's why they're mandatory for saber, so there's no advantage given to just one fencer. Allegedly.
     
  17. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Well now RR is again pushing it for Foil and Epee so there is an advantage there.

    They are required for sabre, but are all the visors the same size. Someone with an LP mask has an advantage as those are the biggest visors.
     
  18. Beloit Fencer of Old

    Beloit Fencer of Old Rookie

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    This thread got me to wondering...are all polycarbonate visors Lexan brand, or is it just the whole using the "kleenex" in place of "facial tissue" thing? If they are all Lexan, then why? Why not use one of the higher-end polycarbs which have less name recognition but better durability?
     
  19. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    The rules state that the visors must be made of Polycarbonate (Lexan). Whether they have to be made by Lexan, I'm not sure. It is interesting to note for CE-2 masks (FIE) the standard is for transparent plastic or mineral glass. No mention of Lexan. It could be like what you said about kleenex.
     
  20. Beloit Fencer of Old

    Beloit Fencer of Old Rookie

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    Yeah...it's a little like specifying a "carbonated cola beverage" then saying the rules state you have to use Pepsi...and Coke simply isn't allowed. Another example is Acrylite vs. Plexiglas. Acrylite is by far the preferred material by discriminating consumers, but Plexiglas is the name people know.
     

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