Sunglasses lens materials: what are sunglasses lenses made of.
The material that the lenses are made of is a question that many people ask us and ask themselves, especially when they physically touch the lenses and realize that it is plastic. Opticians always call it organic lenses.
The material that our sunglasses are made of is called polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a plastic that is easily moldable with temperature.
Its name comes from the fact that many carbon molecules are grouped together (poly=many, carbonate=carbon derivatives).
It can be said that this material was developed in equal parts by Schnell and General Electric, and its discovery and industrial development began in the 1950s.
The most characteristic property of polycarbonate is its high-impact resistance. It can withstand the impact of bullets of certain calibers and is, therefore, a component of armored glass.
Another very important property for the optical industry is the high protection against ultraviolet rays. A clear polycarbonate lens has 97% protection against a kind of the UVA and UVB rays that are harmful to the eye.
Polycarbonate lenses are also characterized by their lightness and flexibility. If you have purchased one of our Oakley compatible lenses, remove it from your glasses and take the lens as shown in the figure below.
Press fearlessly until the lens bends a little bit; don’t be afraid that the lens will break, it won’t. If you take it in your hand, you will also see its extreme lightness.
On a negative note, polycarbonate lenses have the disadvantage of being easily scratched. A simple fingernail on the surface may scratch the lens. To partially alleviate this defect, anti-scratch treatments are included in all polycarbonate lenses.
On the other hand, they are somewhat more expensive than conventional organic lenses.
It must also be said that they are more difficult to colorize. But if you notice, our lenses have a good color finish. It is simply a matter of using better dyes and improving the dyeing process.
In addition to being made of polycarbonate, our lenses are also equipped with TAC film. TAC is another type of plastic that has wide industrial applications. It is used to make many things, including photographic film.
The TAC material used for our Oakley and Arnette lenses is a polarizing film, responsible for this important property. Similarly, this layer provides 100% UVA and UVB protection. The TAC film provides the extra protection needed to keep your eyes safe from the sun.
Finally, the lenses with the iridium finish have a semi-mirrored layer on the outside, formed by a metal oxide (iridium).
This simple “little plastic” that you wear on your sunglasses is the result of a complex industrial manufacturing process. So take care of your glasses just as they take care of your vision.
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