Clouded by Haze: How to Ensure Clarity in Transparent Materials

Just like in the atmosphere, haze can create a cloudy appearance in objects. This cloudiness makes the objects appear lighter and distorted, often creating problems for manufacturers needing to meet certain quality standards for their products.

A hazy appearance in objects occurs when irregularities in the substance or surface conditions cause light to scatter. If light scatters when it hits or passes through a material, haze can appear and the clarity of the product is compromised. This lack of clarity mainly affects transparent materials, such as plastics, glass, and liquids. While highly problematic for manufacturers, haze can be controlled and minimized using the appropriate instrumentation.

In the Clear

Color measurement technology not only evaluates the color of an object, but the lack of color in an object. When haze is problematic in transparent materials, a transmission spectrophotometer or haze meter should be used for process control. Spectrophotometers, often used in conjunction with QC analysis software, generate comprehensive data on the clarity of the material and the amount of haze in its appearance. This allows users to pinpoint the origin of the haze and take corrective action immediately.

A standard haze value should first be defined (e.g., standard percent Haze value between 0% and 30%. If the sample s percent Haze value is greater than 30%, the sample will be rejected.) to ensure each batch of material maintains consistency and clarity. Each sample may be evaluated using a spectrophotometer to identify any cloudiness in the object, the amount of haze (percent Haze value) in its appearance, and if these values are within the established standard. With this data, corrective action can effectively be taken before a bulk production run is performed and documented for future batches. By identifying the problem in advance, rework and product rejects are prevented.

To effectively evaluate transparency and haze in your samples, the following products are recommended:

CM-5 Spectrophotometer

CM-36dG Spectrophotometer

CM-3700A Spectrophotometer

SpectraMagic NX Software

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