Eyeglasses Frame Materials
While shopping for new eyeglasses or sunglasses it’s important to choose the right frame material because each has its own unique features.
Plastic Eyeglasses Frames
Easier to break than metal frames, they will burn (but are not easily ignited), and aging and exposure to sunlight decrease their strength slightly. Color can fade over time, but not as much with modern materials.
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Metal Eyeglasses Frames
A mixture of any of a broad range of metals — is the most widely used material in the manufacture of eyeglass frames. Its malleability and corrosion resistance are pluses.
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Flexon is a titanium-based alloy. This unique and popular material, originated by the eyeglass manufacturer Marchon, also is called memory metal. Frames made of memory metal come back into shape even after twisting or bending. Flexon frames are lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant.
Marchon company officials describe the frame as about 25 percent lighter in weight than standard metals, giving you a much lighter feel on your face.
Titanium eyeglasses frames are light, stiff, and strong. Titanium glasses are also hypo-allergenic, meaning that this type of eyewear will not irritate your skin over time. Titanium glasses resist corrosion from facial acids, and retains its color much better than other types of metals used in eyeglasses frames.
Stainless steel eyeglasses frames and surgical stainless are another alternative to titanium. Qualities of stainless steel eyeglasses frames include light weight, low toxicity and strength; many stainless steel eyeglasses frames also are nickel-free and thus hypoallergenic.
Stainless steel is readily available and reasonably priced. It’s an alloy of steel and chromium, and may also contain another element. Most stainless steels contain anywhere from 10 to 30 percent chromium, which provides excellent resistance to corrosion, abrasion and heat.
Frames made from aluminum are lightweight and highly corrosion-resistant. Aluminum is used primarily by high-end eyewear designers because of the unique look it creates.
Aluminum is the world’s most abundant and widely used nonferrous metal (metal other than iron or steel). Pure aluminum is actually soft and weak, but commercial aluminum with small amounts of silicon and iron is hard and strong.