LCD Film Enhancements and Coatings

We once had a contract with a restaurant/bar that provided video games in all their locations. Each game had a card reader that restaurant patrons could use to swipe a card loaded with credits. The card reader assembly included an LCD. On many nights, these LCDs would be found with a coating of sugar from spilled drinks. Others had been doused in beer.

As it turns out, LCDs and beer do not mix well. We never took the time to figure which drink did more damage? Dark beer? Craft beer? Wine?

Either way, we would replace the LCD and return it to the customer.

There are many industries that require additional protection for the displays in their products. The five most common types of protection/coatings are listed below. 


AF treatment repels skin oils on LCD glass. AF finishes do not prevent fingerprints from sticking to the glass, instead they bead or collect the skin’s oils so they can be easily wiped away.

The most common and durable AF treatment is applied by a liquid chemical process. The other option is a spray on chemical that will not last as long.

Neither process interferes with the clarity of the glass.

AF treated glass is smoother and allows the finger to slide easier across the surface.


SR surfaces reduce scratches caused by car keys, tools, and any other sharp object. SR does not mean scratch proof; only scratch resistant.

The two most common brand names of SR glass are Dragontrail Glass™ and  Gorilla Glass™. These products are used extensively in consumer products exposed to daily abuse.

There are other options of SR glass at a lower prices and MOQs (minimum order quantities). These vary from tempered glass options to multiple chemically strengthened options such as soda lime glass. Okay, we know these options are not technically a protective coating as they are actually the glass itself, but this article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it.


Ultraviolet light causes damage to displays over extended periods of exposure as can be seen in faded displays, color shifts, cracked glass and even burn-in where the segments are difficult to read.

UVA and UVB radiation are two types of UV light that displays (both indoor and outdoor) are exposed too.

UV B is blocked by most types of glass and is not as destructive to displays.

UV A is the most damaging to LCDs.

UV coating and UV glass acts as a mirror that reflects the UV radiation.

Possible applications? Construction equipment, GPS, Water purification locations.


AG treatment or AG coating or AG glass reduces the glare from high ambient light sources such as the sun and indoor lighting.

In most cases, the glass or covering is etched in such a way to scatter the light at different angles so the majority does not return to the user.

Possible applications? Cell phones and tablets, dash boards and surveying equipment. 


Light moves in waves. And is measured by its different wave lengths (both visible and invisible).

AR is achieved by blocking or canceling out specific light by reflecting and then canceling that wavelength.

AR coatings on LCDs are manufactured to a set thickness producing a wave that is out of phase and cancels that wavelength.