Plastic is increasingly being used in place of glass for optical components. In addition to glasses and intricate lenses, typical applications also include dashboard coverings in vehicles. Similarly to glass optics, antireflective coatings and other functional layers are required for optical parts made of plastic.
However, plastics are more diverse than glass with regard to their surface properties. At Fraunhofer IOF, special processes for coating plastic optics made of PMMA, polycarbonate, Zeonex, polyamide, CR39 and others have been developed. Licenses and training are available for a range of processes.