Búsqueda Imágenes Maps Play YouTube Noticias Gmail Drive Más »
Iniciar sesión
Usuarios de lectores de pantalla: deben hacer clic en este enlace para utilizar el modo de accesibilidad. Este modo tiene las mismas funciones esenciales pero funciona mejor con el lector.

Patentes

  1. Búsqueda avanzada de patentes
Número de publicaciónUS20120311797 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 13/490,805
Fecha de publicación13 Dic 2012
Fecha de presentación7 Jun 2012
Fecha de prioridad9 Jun 2011
También publicado comoEP2532781A1, EP2532781B1
Número de publicación13490805, 490805, US 2012/0311797 A1, US 2012/311797 A1, US 20120311797 A1, US 20120311797A1, US 2012311797 A1, US 2012311797A1, US-A1-20120311797, US-A1-2012311797, US2012/0311797A1, US2012/311797A1, US20120311797 A1, US20120311797A1, US2012311797 A1, US2012311797A1
InventoresMinoru Inuzuka, Hiroyasu Ueta, Hiroyasu ATSUMI
Cesionario originalShizuoka Prefectural Government, Nidek Co., Ltd.
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Dyeing method and dyeing apparatus
US 20120311797 A1
Resumen
A dyeing method in which a transparent resin body having a surface applied with a dye is heated to fix the dye to the transparent resin body comprises a heating step of irradiating a laser beam having a wavelength less likely to be absorbed by the dye toward the transparent resin body applied with the dye on the surface while relatively scanning the laser beam with respect to the transparent resin body to heat a to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body to fix the dye, wherein the laser beam is irradiation to heat by changing a laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a portion of the transparent resin body to be heated so that a heating temperature on the transparent resin body by irradiation of the laser beam is substantially equal throughout an entire area of the to-be-dyed region.
Imágenes(6)
Previous page
Next page
Reclamaciones(13)
1. A dyeing method in which a transparent resin body having a surface applied with a dye is heated to fix the dye to the transparent resin body,
wherein the method comprises a heating step of irradiating a laser beam having a wavelength less likely to be absorbed by the dye toward the transparent resin body applied with the dye on the surface while relatively scanning the laser beam with respect to the transparent resin body to heat a to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body to fix the dye, wherein the laser beam is irradiation to heat by changing a laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a portion of the transparent resin body to be heated so that a heating temperature on the transparent resin body by irradiation of the laser beam is substantially equal throughout an entire area of the to-be-dyed region.
2. The dyeing method according to claim 1, wherein the heating step includes detecting the heating temperature on the transparent resin body under irradiation of the laser beam and changing the laser beam irradiating condition based on a detection result.
3. The dyeing method according to claim 2, wherein the transparent resin body is a plastic lens.
4. The dyeing method according to claim 1, wherein the heating step including irradiating the laser beam to heat under a first laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a first region having a thick thickness in the to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body and under a second laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a second region having a thinner thickness than the thickness of the first region, the second irradiation condition being different from the first irradiation condition.
5. The dyeing method according to claim 4, wherein each of the first and second laser beam irradiating conditions includes at least one of a speed condition of the scanning and an output power condition of the laser beam.
6. The dyeing method according to claim 5, wherein the second laser beam irradiating condition includes at least one of a condition that the scanning speed is set faster than in the first laser beam irradiating condition and a condition that the irradiation power is set lower than in the first laser beam irradiating condition.
7. The dyeing method according to claim 6, wherein the transparent resin body is a plastic lens.
8. A dyeing apparatus in which a transparent resin body having a surface applied with a dye is heated to fix the dye to the transparent resin body,
wherein the apparatus includes:
a laser beam irradiation part for irradiating a laser beam having a wavelength less likely to be absorbed by the dye toward the transparent resin body;
a scan part for relatively scanning the laser beam irradiated by the laser beam irradiation part with respect to the transparent resin body; and
a controller for controlling irradiation of the laser beam by changing a laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a portion of the transparent resin body to be heated so that a heating temperature on the transparent resin body by irradiation of the laser beam is substantially equal throughout an entire area of the to-be-dyed region while the laser beam is being relatively scanned by the scan part with respect to the to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body.
9. The dyeing apparatus according to claim 8, further including a detection part for detecting a heating temperature on the transparent resin body to which the laser beam is irradiated, wherein the controller changes the laser beam irradiating condition based on the heating temperature detected by the detection part.
10. The dyeing apparatus according to claim 9, further including an optical member for making a measurement axis of the detection part for detecting the heating temperature coaxial with an irradiation optical axis of the laser beam.
11. The dyeing apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the controller controls the laser beam irradiation part so that the laser beam relatively scanned by the scan part is irradiated onto a first region having a thick thickness in the to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body under a first laser beam irradiating condition and is irradiated onto a second region having a relatively thinner thickness than in the first region under a second laser beam irradiating condition different from the first laser beam irradiating condition.
12. The dyeing apparatus according to claim 11, wherein items set as the first laser beam irradiating condition and the second laser beam irradiating condition include at least one of a relatively scanning speed of the laser beam by the scan part and irradiation power of the laser beam by the laser beam irradiation part, and
the controller controls the scan part based on the first and second laser beam irradiating conditions to make the scanning speed on the second region faster than on the first region or controls the laser beam irradiation part to make the output power of the laser beam lower on the second region than on the first region.
13. The dyeing apparatus according to claim 12, further including a storage part for storing setting information to set irradiation conditions including the first laser beam irradiating condition and the second laser beam irradiating condition with respect to the transparent resin body, and a readout part for reading the setting information from the storage part, and
wherein the controller controls based on the first and second laser beam irradiating conditions included in the setting information read by the readout part.
Descripción
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from the prior Japanese Patent Applications Nos. 2011-128862, filed Jun. 9, 2011 and 2012-126739, filed Jun. 4, 2012, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a method of dyeing transparent resin, especially, a plastic lens, by using a laser beam, and a dyeing apparatus for use in the method.
  • [0004]
    2. Related Art
  • [0005]
    As a method of dyeing transparent resin such as a plastic lens, there is conventionally known a method of dyeing a lens by dipping or immersing the lens in a dye solution for a predetermined time (a dipping dyeing method). This method is conventionally used but has disadvantages such as poor working conditions and difficulty in dyeing a high-refractive lens. Therefore, the present applicant proposed a dyeing method achieved by applying (outputting) dyeing inks containing sublimable dyes to a base body such as paper by use of an inkjet printer, placing this base body out of contact with a lens, sublimating the sublimable dye toward the lens (hereinafter, referred to as a vapor deposition transfer dyeing method) (see Patent Document 1, for example). In this method, the lens is entirely heated in an oven to fix the dyes to a lens surface.
  • [0006]
    According to this vapor deposition transfer dyeing method, a lens may turn yellow when a heating temperature needed for fixation is high. A method to solve the problem is proposed in which a lens surface is partially heated by a laser beam to fix dyes (see Patent Document 2).
  • RELATED ART DOCUMENTS Patent Documents
  • [0000]
    • Patent Document 1: JP-A-2001-215306
    • Patent Document 2: JP-A-2009-244515
  • SUMMARY OF INVENTION Problems to be Solved by the Invention
  • [0009]
    However, it is found that the dyeing method using a laser disclosed in Patent Document 2 in which the entire lens is not heated to high temperatures could reduce the occurrence of yellow discoloration, but is apt to cause a new problem with irregular coloring.
  • [0010]
    The present invention has been made to solve the above problems and has a purpose to provide a dyeing method and a dyeing apparatus using a laser beam capable of reducing the occurrence of irregular coloring and adequately dyeing transparent resin such as a plastic lens.
  • Means of Solving the Problems
  • [0011]
    To achieve the above purpose, one aspect of the invention provides a dyeing method in which a transparent resin body having a surface applied with a dye is heated to fix the dye to the transparent resin body, wherein the method comprises a heating step of irradiating a laser beam having a wavelength less likely to be absorbed by the dye toward the transparent resin body applied with the dye on the surface while relatively scanning the laser beam with respect to the transparent resin body to heat a to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body to fix the dye, wherein the laser beam is irradiation to heat by changing a laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a portion of the transparent resin body to be heated so that a heating temperature on the transparent resin body by irradiation of the laser beam is substantially equal throughout an entire area of the to-be-dyed region.
  • [0012]
    Another aspect of the present invention provides a dyeing apparatus in which a transparent resin body having a surface applied with a dye is heated to fix the dye to the transparent resin body, wherein the apparatus includes: a laser beam irradiation part for irradiating a laser beam having a wavelength less likely to be absorbed by the dye toward the transparent resin body; a scan part for relatively scanning the laser beam irradiated by the laser beam irradiation part with respect to the transparent resin body; and a controller for controlling irradiation of the laser beam by changing a laser beam irradiating condition with respect to a portion of the transparent resin body to be heated so that a heating temperature on the transparent resin body by irradiation of the laser beam is substantially equal throughout an entire area of the to-be-dyed region while the laser beam is being relatively scanned by the scan part with respect to the to-be-dyed region of the transparent resin body.
  • Effects of the Invention
  • [0013]
    According to the invention, it is possible to appropriately dye a transparent resin body such as a plastic lens.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic configuration view of a dyeing system in a preferred embodiment;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of a dyeing apparatus used in the embodiment;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing relative scanning of a laser beam to a lens;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 4 is a diagram showing a schematic configuration of a dyeing apparatus used in another embodiment; and
  • [0018]
    FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a schematic configuration of a dyeing apparatus used in another embodiment.
  • DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • [0019]
    A detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be given referring to the accompanying drawings. FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a dyeing system for use in a dyeing method using a laser beam according to the present invention. FIG. 2 is a diagram showing a schematic configuration of a dyeing apparatus.
  • [0020]
    The dyeing system includes a dyeing base body creating device 100 for creating a dyeing base body, a vacuum vapor deposition transfer machine 20 for depositing (transferring) sublimable dyes applied on the base body to a plastic lens 10 which is an object to be dyed (a plastic lens is used as transparent resin in the present embodiment), and a dyeing apparatus 30 to irradiate a laser beam to the plastic lens 10 deposited with the sublimable dyes, thereby dyeing the lens 10.
  • [0021]
    The dyeing base body creating device 100 includes a monitor 101, a personal computer (PC) 102, an inkjet printer 103, and others. Numeral 104 denotes an operation unit for operating the PC, such as a keyboard, a mouse, and others. The PC 102 is used to execute a dyeing-base-body creating program stored in a hard disk to output a dyeing base body 1 from the inkjet printer 103. In the hard disk of the PC 102, there are stored not only the program of a dyeing-base-body creating software to create a base body to be used for dyeing a plastic lens but also various base material information of plastic lenses, color data of dyeing inks to be applied to a base body, and others.
  • [0022]
    The dyeing base body 1 is created in a manner that a medium such as paper usable in the inkjet printer 103 is applied (outputted) with dyeing inks in a predetermined shape. It is to be noted that this medium used herein has a back side (a surface not subjected to printing) being entirely colored in black in order to increase heat absorption efficiency of the base body 1.
  • [0023]
    The dyeing inks used in the inkjet printer 103 include at least three color inks, i.e., red, blue, and yellow inks. The dye contained in each dying ink needs to be sublimable and resistant to heat generated during sublimation. Furthermore, after the dyes are deposited on the plastic lens, the plastic lens has to be subjected to a color developing work to fix the dyes on the plastic lens without irregular coloring. In consideration of the above points, preferable dyes to be used are sublimable quinophthalone dyes or sublimable anthraquinone dyes.
  • [0024]
    The vacuum vapor deposition transfer machine 20 shown in FIG. 1 is provided with an open/close door not shown to take in and out the plastic lens 10, the aforementioned base body 1, and others. In an upper section of the machine 20, a heating lamp 21 is placed as a heating source to heat the base body 1 to thereby sublimate the dyes. The heating lamp 21 used in the present embodiment is a halogen lamp, but may be any other type if only it can heat the base body 1 without contact therewith. On a bottom of the machine 20, a dyeing jig 200 is placed. The plastic lens 10 and the base body 1 are set in this jig 200. Numeral 22 is a rotary pump to be used for creating an almost vacuum in the vacuum vapor deposition transfer machine 20. Numeral 23 is a leak valve, which is opened to take outside air into the vacuum vapor deposition transfer machine 20 whose inside is in an almost vacuum state for returning the inside to atmospheric pressure. The dyeing jig 200 holds the lens 10 (a surface to be dyed) and the base body 1 (an ink applied surface) so that they face each other in non-contact relation.
  • [0025]
    The material of the plastic lens 10 used herein is selectable from polycarbonate resin (e.g., diethylene glycol bisallyl carbonate polymer (CR-39)), polyurethane resin, allyl resin (e.g., allyl diglycol carbonate and its copolymer, diallyl phthalate and its copolymer), fumaric acid resin (e.g., benzyl fumarate copolymer), styrene resin, polymethyl acrylate resin, fibrous resin (e.g., cellulose propionate), high refractive materials such as thiourethane resin and thioepoxy resin, and other high refractive materials that have been heretofore considered inferior in dyeability. Furthermore, a plastic lens having a to-be-dyed surface coated with a predetermined coating such as hard coating may also be used. In the case of a lens applied with coating, its lens surface can be dyed by depositing (applying) the dyes on a coating layer.
  • [0026]
    The dyeing apparatus 30 is used to heat the plastic lens applied thereon with the sublimable dyes at a predetermined temperature by irradiation of a laser beam to fix and develop the dyes.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing a configuration of the dyeing apparatus 30. The dyeing apparatus 30 includes a main unit 31 arranged to irradiate a laser beam and a movable stage 32. The main unit 31 includes a laser source 33 that emits a laser beam having a predetermined wavelength, a reflection mirror 36, a lens 37, the movable stage 32, a drive mechanism 38, a controller 39, a control part 40, a storage part 41, and others.
  • [0028]
    The laser source 33 emits a laser beam having a wavelength in an infrared region. Although the present embodiment uses a light source that emits a CO2 laser beam of a wavelength of 10.2 to 10.8 μm, any types of light source may be used as long as they emit a laser beam having a wavelength in an infrared region absorbable by a base material of a transparent resin body (a plastic lens in this embodiment) or in an ultraviolet region (including near-ultraviolet region). Furthermore, an infrared absorbent or an ultraviolet absorbent may be applied in advance to a lens in addition to the dyes, so that the absorbent absorbs a laser beam to heat the base material. In the case of using the absorbent, it is preferable to apply the dyes and the absorbent in this order to the base material.
  • [0029]
    The laser beam emitted from the laser source 33 is deflected by the reflection mirror 36 and then passes through the lens 37 to converge. In the present embodiment, a laser beam having a diameter of about 3.8 mm is emitted from the laser source. In the present embodiment, the laser beam having passed through the lens 37 is defocused so that the diameter becomes in a range from about 10 mm to 35 mm on the surface of the plastic lens 10. The diameter of the laser beam defocused on the plastic lens is not limited to the above range and may be appropriately determined in consideration of productivity and irradiation energy. For instance, the spot diameter of the laser beam on the plastic lens is preferable not less than 5 mm and not more than 50 mm and more preferable not less than 10 mm and not more than 40 mm. Furthermore, a cylindrical lens or the like may be used to shape a laser beam into a linear beam.
  • [0030]
    In a position on which the laser beam will be defocused, the movable stage 32 is placed so as to be movable up, down, forward, backward, leftward, and rightward (in horizontal direction and vertical direction). This stage 32 is moved by activation of the drive mechanism 38. A moving amount and a moving direction of the movable stage 32 are constantly detected by a detection device not shown. Drive control of the drive mechanism 38 is conducted by the controller 39. Control information thereof (a moving direction and a moving speed) is set by the control part (a condition setting part) 40 provided with switches not shown. A holder 11 is fixedly placed on the movable stage 32. The plastic lens 10 on which the sublimable dyes are deposited is put on the holder 11 so that a deposition surface (a surface to be dyed) of the lens 10 faces upward. Since the holder 11 is fixed on the movable stage 32, their positional relationship is evident beforehand. Accordingly, even when the movable stage 32 is moved while the plastic lens is set on the holder 11, the controller 39 can constantly detect an irradiation position of a laser beam with respect to the plastic lens.
  • [0031]
    The control part 40 can also set the output power of a laser beam (laser power), the moving speed of the movable stage, and others. The storage part 41 stores in advance identification information of various plastic lenses and setting information in individual association with the lens identification information such as laser beam irradiating conditions (e.g., output power condition and scanning speed condition based on a scanning position) needed to appropriately dye various types of plastic lenses. When the plastic lens 10 is to be dyed by use of the dyeing apparatus 30, the kind (identification information) of a plastic lens to be dyed is selected with the control part 40. The controller 39 reads or retrieves the setting information (the laser beam irradiating condition) associated with the selected identification information from the storage part 41, and controls the laser source 33 and the drive mechanism 38 based on the read setting information.
  • [0032]
    The inventors found, as a result of their diligent studies, that in the case where a plastic lens has different thicknesses between a lens peripheral region and a central region, such as a positive lens and a negative lens, when the entire area (a surface to be dyed) of such a plastic lens on which dyes are deposited is subjected to irradiation of a laser beam under a constant power condition without taking into account different thicknesses between the regions, color unevenness is apt to occur. Due to such a phenomenon, heat generated by the laser beam is less likely to diffuse in a thin portion and thus the dyes are liable to resublime, so that the dyes could not sufficiently be fixed to the lens surface. It is accordingly necessary to set the laser power condition over the entire area of a lens to not more than a temperature at which the dyes sublime, while ensuring a fixation temperature needed to physically or chemically bind the dyes deposited on the lens to a lens material. For this reason, the laser beam irradiating condition has to be appropriately changed so that the heating temperature of the lens surface (surface temperature) by irradiation of the laser beam becomes substantially equal (uniform) throughout the entire area of the to-be-dyed region.
  • [0033]
    In the present invention, therefore, for various plastic lenses each having different thicknesses between a peripheral region and a central region, for example, the laser power condition is changed according to the regions to restrain irregular coloring. To be concrete, when a plastic lens having a thickness largely changing from a peripheral region to a central region is to be dyed in a single color throughout the entire area of the to-be-dyed region, the laser power condition is determined as below. The to-be-dyed region is divided into at least two regions; a region (a central region) located in a predetermined range from the center and a region (a peripheral region) located outside the central region. According to whether the region to be irradiated by a laser beam is the central region or the peripheral region, the laser power condition is changed to change at least one of the scanning speed of the laser beam and the irradiation power of the laser beam. For instance, when the central region has a thinner thickness than the peripheral region, the scanning speed of the laser beam on the central region is set faster than on the peripheral region or a power value of the laser beam on the central region is set lower than on the peripheral region. It is to be noted that the central region may be circular or any other shape (e.g., rectangular). In the present embodiment, the central region (rectangular) is determined as a predetermined range (e.g., 30 mm×30 mm) centered at the lens center.
  • [0034]
    When the laser beam irradiating condition is to be changed according to different regions as above, the laser beam irradiating condition in each region has only to be determined in advance at such a change degree as that a difference in color density (or a difference in transmittance) in the predetermined range of the plastic lens falls within about 10%. For a range for comparison of color density, for example, a range of 30 mm in radius from the lens center can be set as a comparison range. In the case of the difference in color density falling within about 10%, color unevenness is less likely to be visually perceived and thus actual problems hardly occur. Those laser beam irradiating conditions can be experimentally determined by predetermined type of plastic lens, for example.
  • [0035]
    In the present embodiment, the to-be-dyed surface of a plastic lens is divided into two regions and applied with different laser beam irradiating conditions. As an alternative, a plurality of regions, e.g., three or more, may be set according to changes in thickness and different laser beam irradiating conditions may be determined so that a difference in color density throughout an entire dyeing region falls within about 10%. As another alternative, the laser beam irradiating condition may be changed continuously (including linearly and nonlinearly) according to changes in thickness, not stepwise region setting (condition setting).
  • [0036]
    According to the present invention, the sublimable dyes are not heated by the laser beam. The laser beam is irradiated to heat the base material (plastic lens) to such an extent as not to melt the surface of the base material, thereby loosening a molecular structure of polymer to allow the dyes to easily permeate therein. By compatibility of the sublimable dyes with the base material, the sublimable dyes are taken and fixed in the base material, and develop color. Accordingly, the laser power, i.e., irradiation energy density per unit area to the surface to be dyed by the laser beam is determined to achieve a temperature that does not melt the plastic lens and that is needed to loosen the molecular structure of the polymer constituting the base material. Such irradiation energy density can be controlled by adjustment of the output power of the laser beam to be emitted from the laser source 33 by the control part 40 and besides by scanning speed or defocusing of the laser beam with respect to the plastic lens. In the case of performing scanning by line-focusing or defocusing the laser beam on the lens surface, one scanning is performed with such irradiation energy as not to cause sublimation of the dyes due to heating. When the dyes are not fixed (not fully fixed) in one scanning, the scanning is performed by displacing the scanning line little by little while repeatedly overlapping the scanning line. This can give irradiation energy necessary for fixation of the dyes to the lens.
  • [0037]
    In the present embodiment, furthermore, the laser beam is not moved for scanning whereas the lens is moved to perform scanning on the to-be-dyed surface by the laser beam. The invention however is not limited thereto and may be applied to any configurations if only it can relatively scan the laser beam with respect to the lens. For example, a laser beam scanning device consisting of a galvano mirror and others may be used to move the laser beam for scanning with respect to the plastic lens.
  • [0038]
    The operations of the method of dyeing the plastic lens 10 will be explained below. The plastic lens used in this embodiment is a meniscus lens having a minus power (a negative power) and a thickness that is thinner in a central region than in a peripheral region of the lens.
  • [0039]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the plastic lens 10 whose surface is applied uniformly with the sublimable dyes is placed on the holder 11 with the surface applied with the sublimable dyes facing up. Subsequently, a CO2 laser beam is irradiated to the dye-applied surface of the plastic lens 10. Since the CO2 laser beam has too strong power, the laser beam is condensed once through the lens 37 and thus defocused on the surface of the plastic lens. Thus, the irradiated beam has an expanded spot with reduced beam density. Furthermore, by using a detecting device not shown, the position of the movable stage 32 moved by the drive mechanism 38 is constantly ascertained by the controller 39. Therefore, the irradiation position of the laser beam with respect to the plastic lens having a known size placed on the holder 11 can be detected.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 3 shows a scanning method using the laser beam. The plastic lens 10 has a diameter of about 100 mm, a thickness (a material thickness) of 2 mm in a thin portion at and around the lens center and 8 mm in a thick portion in the lens periphery. The surface of the plastic lens 10 is previously applied with the sublimable dyes. In the present embodiment, the peripheral region having a thick thickness is referred to as a first region 10 a and the central region having a relatively thin thickness is referred to as a second region 10 b. In this embodiment, the central region having a rectangular range of 30 mm×30 mm centered on the lens center is defined as the second region 10 b.
  • [0041]
    The movable stage is moved in X-Y directions (back, forth, left, and right) to perform first scan, turn back for second scan, and then further turn back for third scan as shown in FIG. 3. The second scan is shifted by 2 mm from the first scan in a lateral direction (downward in the drawing sheet). In the case of the spot diameter of the laser beam being 10 mm, for example, the first scan and the second scan overlap by 8 mm. The same applies to subsequent scans. Each scan is conducted to cover the entire area of the plastic lens 10.
  • [0042]
    While the laser beam is scanning in a range of the first region 10 a on the plastic lens 10 (for example, the first scan and the second scan), the controller 39 drives and controls the movable stage 38 to achieve a predetermined scanning speed. On the other hand, when the first region 10 a and the second region 10 b appear on the scanning line as in the third scan, the controller 39 drives and controls the movable stage 38 to scan the laser beam on the second region 10 b at a faster speed than on the first region 10 a.
  • [0043]
    The laser source 33 is a CO2 laser having a wavelength of 10.2 μm to 10.8 μm. This wavelength corresponds to infrared light. The sublimable dyes hardly absorb this wavelength light. In the present embodiment, the material of the plastic lens 10 is high refractive materials such as a thiourethane material and a thioepoxy material. The material of the plastic lens 10 used in this embodiment absorbs on the order of 50% to 90% of the wavelength of 10.2 to 10.8 μm.
  • [0044]
    The CO2 laser beam is less likely to be absorbed by the dyes but is absorbed by the plastic lens 10. Accordingly, only the surface of the plastic lens 10 is heated to loosen the molecular structure of polymer that constitutes resin, thereby dispersing the sublimable disperse dyes into the portions in which the molecular structure of polymer is loosened. Thus the disperse dye can be fixed on the surface of the plastic lens 10. Since the scanning speed is controlled to be difference between the regions having different thicknesses, it is possible to keep the fixation of dyes throughout the to-be-dyed surface at the same level and thus restrain the occurrence of color unevenness.
  • [0045]
    The transparent resin body is a plastic lens having a high refractive index of 1.60 or more. The conventional dyeing method using oven heating could not dye a plastic lens having a refractive index of 1.60 or more made of for example thiourethane resin or thioepoxy resin. Unless such a lens is heated at 140° C. or higher for 2 hours or longer, it could not be dyed in sufficient density. Considering workability, however, dyeing has to be conducted in a short time. A higher temperature of 150° C. or more enables short-time dyeing, but the lens is liable to turn yellow or deformed. To apply the dyes to the lens surface, this embodiment adopts the method of depositing the dyes on the lens by heating the sublimable dyes under vacuum but is not limited thereto. For example, sublimating of the sublimable dyes may be performed under atmospheric pressure to deposit the dyes on the lens surface. Another alternative is to apply the dyes to the lens surface by a spin coat method.
  • [0046]
    In the embodiment described above, the irradiation condition of the laser beam (e.g., output power and scanning speed of the laser beam) is changed according to the thickness of a lens at an irradiation portion of the laser beam, but not limited thereto. It is only necessary to control irradiation of the laser beam by appropriately changing the irradiation condition of the laser beam so that the heating temperature on the lens by the laser beam is substantially equal or uniform throughout the entire area of the to-be-dyed region. In the present embodiment, the “substantially equal heating temperature” includes variations in heating temperature providing such a degree of color unevenness that is not perceived visually when dyeing in uniform color density is desired. To be concrete, it includes the variations in heating temperature providing the difference in color density (or the difference in transmittance) in a predetermined range on the to-be-dyed surface of the plastic lens falls within about 10%. Other embodiments are explained hereinafter.
  • [0047]
    FIGS. 4 and 5 are schematic diagrams of a dyeing apparatus used in a second embodiment. Parts or components assigned with the same reference signs as those of the dyeing apparatus shown in FIG. 2 have the same functions as those in the dyeing apparatus of the aforementioned embodiment and hence their details are omitted. In FIG. 4, the dyeing apparatus 30 shown in FIG. 2 is additionally provided with a noncontact thermometer 50 serving as a detection device to detect (measure) a heating temperature (a lens surface temperature) of a laser beam at an irradiation position with respect to the lens 10. A suitable example of this noncontact thermometer is a radiation thermometer for determining the temperature of an object by measuring intensity of infrared light and visible light from the object. As illustrated, the noncontact thermometer 50 is placed in such a position as to detect, from obliquely above, the irradiation position (a heating site) of the laser beam on the lens 10. More preferably, the noncontact thermometer 50 is located so that a measurement axis (a dotted line) of the noncontact thermometer and the optical axis of the laser beam intersect at a predetermined angle. The vertical position of the lens 10 is set so that the intersection falls on the lens 10.
  • [0048]
    The noncontact thermometer 50 is coupled to the controller 39 and transmits a detection result of the heating temperature to the controller 39. Upon receipt of the detection result of the heating temperature, the controller 39 appropriately changes the laser beam irradiating condition to maintain the preset heating temperature in a predetermined range, and controls output power of the laser beam to be emitted from the laser source 33. A target heating temperature is set in advance by use of the control part 40. Setting of the heating temperature is made by taking into account the material of the transparent resin body (herein, the lens), which is an object to be dyed, to set a heating temperature at which dyes can be fixed on the lens 10. The heating temperature is set, even though it depends on the resin materials, to a temperature needed for fixation of the dyes and at which the dyes are less likely to resublime. This heating temperature is preferably set in a range of 100° C. to 200° C. and more preferably in a range of 110° C. to 170° C. A part of the dyes sticking to the lens 10 may sublime depending on the set heating temperature. However, substantially equal heating temperature can be maintained throughout the entire area of the to-be-dyed surface of the lens. Therefore, sublimation of the dyes occurs at almost the same level irrespective of the irradiation positions of the lens, thus preventing the occurrence of color unevenness.
  • [0049]
    The controller 39 drives the movable stage 32 to ensure sufficient time needed for the dyes to fix to the lens 10 at the heating temperature set in each laser irradiation position on the lens 10. The relative scanning speed of the laser beam provided by the movable stage 32 may be constant irrespective of the set heating temperature and may be set in association with the set heating temperature. The storage part 41 may store in advance a plurality of information on the laser beam irradiating condition to set different heating temperatures and scanning speed according to various resin materials. In this case, the type of a lens (resin material and lens shape) is designated by the control part 40, and a corresponding laser irradiation (e.g., heating temperature and scanning speed) is retrieved (read out) from the storage part 41 and set.
  • [0050]
    In the present embodiment, the output power of the laser beam to be emitted from the laser source is adjusted to keep the set heating temperature in the predetermined range, but it is not limited thereto. An alternative is to keep the laser power constant but change other laser beam irradiating conditions, for example, by changing a defocused state of the laser beam on the lens by an optical member or irradiating the laser beam in a pulse pattern, to thereby maintain the set heating temperature. In the case where the laser beam irradiating condition is appropriately adjusted based on temperature detection, relative scanning of the laser beam with respect to the lens may be made consistently in a constant direction. When the scanning is always performed in the same direction, the temperature detection condition is set equal as compared with in relative scanning by laser beam reciprocating motion even when the irradiation position of the laser beam is displaced from a temperature detection position. This can more stably detect the heating temperature. When the heating temperature is to be detected obliquely with respect to the irradiation position of the laser beam by the noncontact thermometer, it is preferable to bring the angle of the measurement optical axis of the noncontact thermometer to the measurement position of the lens close to the irradiation angle of the optical axis of the laser beam.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram showing an example in which the dyeing apparatus shown in FIG. 4 is arranged so that the measurement axis of the noncontact thermometer 50 is made coaxial with the optical axis of the laser beam. Parts or components assigned with the same reference signs as those in the dyeing apparatus shown in FIG. 2 have the same functions as those in the dyeing apparatus in the aforementioned embodiments and their details are omitted.
  • [0052]
    On an optical path of the laser beam emitted from the laser source 33, there is provided a mirror 51 to make the measurement axis of the noncontact thermometer 50 coaxial with the optical axis of the laser beam. The set position of the mirror 51 is not particularly limited but is preferably off a focus position of the laser beam to prevent damage to the mirror. In the present embodiment, the mirror 51 is located on the optical path between the focus position of the laser beam by the lens 37 and the lens 10. The mirror 51 is selectable from a dichroic mirror having the property of transmitting a wavelength of the laser beam but reflecting other wavelengths, a half mirror, a laser mirror that highly reflects a specific wavelength, and the like. In the present embodiment, particularly, there is used a dichroic mirror capable of transmitting a wavelength of 10.2 to 10.8 μm which is the wavelength of the laser beam but reflecting a wavelength (e.g., 5 μm) in a measurement band of the noncontact thermometer.
  • [0053]
    The laser beam emitted from the laser source 33 is focused through the lens 37 and then passes through the mirror 51, and thus the beam in a defocused state falls on the lens 10. When a part of the lens 10 is heated by the laser beam irradiated thereto, infrared radiation is generated. The noncontact thermometer 50 measures the intensity of infrared light of a specific wavelength at a laser beam irradiation point, generated on the lens 10, through the mirror 51 and detects the heating temperature. The controller 39 controls the laser source 33 to sequentially adjust the laser power so that the heating temperature previously set by the control part 40 and the detected heating temperature are substantially equal. The dyeing apparatus with the optical axis of the laser beam and the measurement axis of the noncontact thermometer made coaxial can measure more accurately the heating temperature of the surface of a resin body having a curved surface such as the lens 10.
  • [0054]
    In the case where reflection light (scattered light) of the laser beam enters the noncontact thermometer and exerts an influence on a detection result of the thermometer, a filter that blocks the wavelength of the laser beam and transmits other wavelengths may be placed in front of the noncontact thermometer.
  • [0055]
    The above embodiments exemplify the plastic lens as an object to be dyed which is a transparent resin body, but is not limited thereto. Of course, the invention may be applied to a plate-like transparent resin body or other transparent resin bodies having different shapes.
  • [0056]
    Concrete examples will be explained below.
  • Example 1 1. Test Conditions
  • [0057]
    (1) Application of dyes to a plastic lens surface: Vapor deposition transfer method
  • (1-1) Equipment Used:
  • [0058]
    Printer: EPSON PX-6250S
  • [0059]
    Inks: Nidek, TTS INK RED NK-1
      • Nidek, TTS INK YELLOW NK-1
      • Nidek, TTS INK BLUE NK-1
  • [0062]
    Printing software: Nidek, TTS-PS1.0
      • Vapor deposition transfer device: TTM-1000
  • (1-2) Printing:
  • [0064]
    Printing was made on paper for transfer with data shown in Table 1 (Blue) by use of PX-6250S.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 1
    Yellow INK Red INK Blue INK
    Blue 0 0 512
  • [0065]
    Each ink has a maximum print amount of 1024 and a half print amount of 512.
  • (1-3) Vapor Deposition Transfer:
  • [0066]
    The printed transfer paper and a MR8 lens (S-2.50) were set in a jig and then put in TTM-1000. The transfer work was then conducted under the conditions that: the degree of vacuum was 0.5 kPa, the temperature of the transfer paper was 225° C., and the refractive index of the MR8 lens was 1.60.
  • (1-4) Laser Irradiation Test:
  • [0067]
    Experimental Equipment:
      • Laser: Coherent Inc., GEM-100A
      • Power of Laser beam: 65W
      • Diameter of Laser beam emerging from DP: 3.8 mm
      • Spot diameter of 35 mm on the plastic lens by setting a distance from a laser condensing lens (f=37.5 mm) to the plastic lens to 390 mm to defocus the laser beam
      • Scan speed for peripheral region: 33.4 mm/s
      • Scan speed for central region: 66.8 mm/s, Speed in a lens central range of 30 mm×30 mm
  • [0074]
    Experiment Method:
  • [0075]
    A lens applied with the dyes was set on the stage and irradiated with a laser beam by performing control with different scanning speeds between the peripheral region and the central region. The scanning speed is changed based on whether the laser optical axis is located in the peripheral region or the central region.
  • 2. Test Results
  • [0076]
    Evaluation was made about coloring of color, damage of a base material surface, and transmittance (color unevenness).
  • (1) Coloring of Color:
  • [0077]
    After completion of laser beam irradiation, the lenses were wiped with a cloth saturated with acetone. It was checked whether or not each lens was colored. The lenses were dyed in desired density without loss of color.
  • (2) Damage of the Base Material Surface:
  • [0078]
    The surface reflection was checked as to whether or not damages (irregularity caused by melting of base materials) were found in irradiated portions. As a result of checking the lens surfaces dyed in different colors, no damage was found.
  • (3) Transmittance:
  • [0079]
    The transmittance was measured at a measurement point corresponding to each position of + or −10 mm, + or −20 mm, and + or −30 mm in a meridian direction with reference to the lens center. A measurement device used is MODEL 304 by Asahi Spectra Co., Ltd. Results of the transmittance are shown in Table 2. Even though the transmittance is different between the measurement points, a difference between them falls within 10%, so that color unevenness could not visually be perceived.
  • Comparative Example 1
  • [0080]
    Excepting that the scanning speed (33.4 mm/s) was fixed irrespective of regions of a lens, the test conditions were the same as those in Example 1.
  • (1) Coloring of Color:
  • [0081]
    After completion of laser beam irradiation, the lenses were wiped with a cloth saturated with acetone. It was checked whether or not each lens was colored. The lenses were dyed in desired density without loss of color.
  • (2) Damage of the Base Material Surface:
  • [0082]
    The surface reflection was checked as to whether or not damages (irregularity caused by melting of base materials) were found in irradiated portions. As a result of checking the lens surfaces dyed in different colors, no damage was found.
  • (3) Transmittance:
  • [0083]
    The transmittance was measured as in Example 1. Results thereof are shown in Table 2. Even though the transmittance is different between the measurement points, a difference between them exceeds 10%, so that color unevenness could be visually perceived.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 2
    Transmittance (%)
    −30 −20 −10 +10 +20 +30
    Coloring Damage mm mm mm Center mm mm mm
    Example 1 None 59.3 63.2 65.1 68.0 65.3 63.5 59.2
    Comparative None 58.0 63.4 65.7 70.2 66.2 63.8 59.2
    Example 1
  • REFERENCE SINGS LIST
  • [0000]
    • 1 Base body for dyeing
    • 10 Plastic lens
    • 20 Vacuum vapor deposition transfer machine
    • 30 Dyeing device
    • 32 Movable stage
    • 33 Laser source
    • 36 Reflection mirror
    • 38 Drive mechanism
    • 40 Control part
    • 41 Storage part
Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US4278867 *29 Dic 197814 Jul 1981International Business Machines CorporationSystem for chip joining by short wavelength radiation
US5147585 *6 Ago 199115 Sep 1992Blum Ronald DMethod for forming plastic optical quality spectacle lenses
US5359872 *28 Ago 19921 Nov 1994Okuma CorporationMethod and apparatus for sheet-metal processing
US5560751 *6 Jun 19951 Oct 1996Nikon CorporationMethod for dyeing an optical component
US5820673 *12 Nov 199613 Oct 1998Sentilles; J. BruceApparatus for applying coatings to lenses and curing the coatings
US5891602 *29 May 19926 Abr 1999Eastman Kodak CompanyDye donor binder for laser-induced thermal dye transfer
US6027850 *22 Dic 199822 Feb 2000Konica CorporationThermal transfer image forming method using laser
US6217695 *6 Nov 199817 Abr 2001Wmw Systems, LlcMethod and apparatus for radiation heating substrates and applying extruded material
US6245397 *14 Dic 199812 Jun 2001Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Marking method and marked molding
US6455807 *26 Jun 200024 Sep 2002W.A. Whitney Co.Method and apparatus for controlling a laser-equipped machine tool to prevent self-burning
US6528758 *12 Feb 20014 Mar 2003Icon Laser Technologies, Inc.Method and apparatus for fading a dyed textile material
US6685868 *1 May 20013 Feb 2004Darryl CostinLaser method of scribing graphics
US6736863 *26 Feb 200218 May 2004Nidek Co., Ltd.Method of dyeing a plastic lens, a plastic lens obtained by use of the dyeing method, and a dyeing system, a dyeing device, and a dyeing jig for a plastic lens
US6911055 *12 May 200428 Jun 2005Essilor International Compagnie General D'optiqueMethod for coloring a transparent article made of polycarbonate and resulting article
US7043330 *31 Oct 20039 May 2006Ehsan ToyserkaniSystem and method for closed-loop control of laser cladding by powder injection
US7422610 *10 Ene 20069 Sep 2008Hoya CorporationMethod and device for dyeing lenses
US7477278 *8 Abr 200613 Ene 2009Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Substrate having dye layers that locationally change in color upon exposure to beam
US20040118157 *18 Abr 200224 Jun 2004Reinhard BorekMethod for laser beam-assisted application of metal ions in glass for producing colorless and color pixels
US20040265572 *12 May 200430 Dic 2004Gilles BailletMethod for colouring a transparent article made of polycarbonate and resulting article
US20050061424 *7 Ago 200224 Mar 2005Ackerman Michael ColinWorkpiece forming
US20080111877 *10 Jun 200515 May 2008DymoThermal Laser Printing
US20100028558 *22 Ago 20074 Feb 2010Origin Electric Company, LimitedMethod and apparatus for forming resin film
US20100047380 *30 Ene 200925 Feb 2010Widman Michael FOphthalmic lens precursor and lens
US20110018175 *23 Mar 200927 Ene 2011Nidek Co., Ltd.Dyeing method and dyeing apparatus
US20120217228 *11 Ago 201030 Ago 2012Hitachi Zosen CorporationCoil manufacturing device and method
US20130006565 *8 Mar 20113 Ene 2013Jtekt CorporationMethod and apparatus for determining acceptance/rejection of fine diameter wire bonding
JP2008012869A * Título no disponible
JPH08305263A * Título no disponible
JPS59106589A * Título no disponible
Otras citas
Referencia
1 *JP H08-305263 A English Abstract (September 2015)
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US20140283987 *19 Mar 201425 Sep 2014Systems And Materials Research CorporationMethod and apparatus to apply a fill material to a substrate
US20160002768 *18 Feb 20147 Ene 2016Nidek Co., Ltd.Dyeing device
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.8/444, 118/712
Clasificación internacionalB05C11/00, D06P5/20
Clasificación cooperativaB23K26/082, B23K26/034, D06P5/005, D06P5/2077, D06P5/2005, D06P5/004, G02B1/12, B29D11/00865
Clasificación europeaG02B1/12, D06P5/20C, D06P5/00C, D06P5/00T2, D06P5/00T2B, D06P5/20T
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
3 Ago 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: NIDEK CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:INUZUKA, MINORU;UETA, HIROYASU;ATSUMI, HIROYASU;SIGNING DATES FROM 20120627 TO 20120702;REEL/FRAME:028726/0425
Owner name: SHIZUOKA PREFECTURAL GOVERNMENT, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:INUZUKA, MINORU;UETA, HIROYASU;ATSUMI, HIROYASU;SIGNING DATES FROM 20120627 TO 20120702;REEL/FRAME:028726/0425