Eyeglass Frame Materials
Metal and plastic are the main materials used for eyeglass frames.
But within those two categories come a multitude of choices to help ensure that the material you select for your eyeglass frames complements your lifestyle.
Metal surges in popularity
Metal has become a popular choice in eyeglass frame material.
Everything from stainless steel to aluminum is used and these materials lend a contemporary look to eyeglass frames.
Starting with aluminum, it's lightweight and moldable making it a perfect material for custom eyeglass frame styles.
Adding iron and silicon makes aluminum more durable. Another benefit of this abundant material is its resistance to corrosion.
Sharing many characteristics as aluminum is titanium, a grayish material that's easy to color, resulting in a polished, modern look.
Pure titanium is expensive which is why when it comes to eyeglass frames, this material is generally combined with nickel and copper.
One such combination is beryllium. Strong yet lightweight and flexible, eyeglass frames made of this material are good choices for those exposed to salt water or whose skin has a higher acidity level because it's very resistant to corrosion and does not tarnish.
Beryllium can be blended into a number of different colors, too.
As popular as it is in the kitchen, stainless steel is a popular material for eyeglass frames.
Its chromium content makes stainless steel eyeglass frames better at resisting abrasions, heat and corrosion.
It's affordable and light-weight and when it doesn't contain any nickel, it's also hypoallergenic.
Ticral doesn't contain nickel either, making it another choice in the hypoallergenic category.
Its titanium content gives it all the same features as pure titanium eyeglass frames, but the copper and chrome in Ticral make it much more affordable.
This frame material is strong, it's available in an assortment of color options, and it has the look of thin plastic.
Another alloy containing titanium is called Flexon.
And as its name implies, this proprietary eyeglass frame material is so flexible that frames can be twisted, crushed and otherwise mishandled without breaking or losing their original shape.
If you're one who often falls asleep on the couch with your eyeglasses on, you've got to check out this material.
Flexon has it all – it's lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion resistant.
What about Plastic?
Advancements in the manufacture and blending of different materials have created several new and improved plastics that are perfect for making eyeglass frames.
And although it breaks more easily and can weaken when exposed to sun and heat, it's still a popular eyeglass frame material.
For example, blended nylon eyeglass frames are more durable and more lightweight than earlier styles that were made solely with nylon.
Those involved with sports or other performance-type activities find that gliamides (one type of nylon blend) stand up best to the demands of their chosen activities.
And since nylon is malleable, it's perfect for the popular wrap-around styles.
If hypoallergenic materials are important to you, look for eyeglass frames made from lightweight propionate.
If you're into color, interesting layered colored effects are achieved using zyl.
Also known as cellulose acetate or zylonite, this eyeglass frame material is lightweight and inexpensive.
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