Major categories of eyeglass frame materials

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Eyeglass frame materials including plastics, metals as well as other unusual materials have their own strength and respective qualities. These different materials of eyeglass frames offer a wide variety of options to customers with different requirements.

Plastic materials

Within the plastic category, there are many different types. Zylonite offers colors of the rainbow. It is very cost-effective and lightweight. Zylonite frames have layered colors and provide various special appearances. A nylon-based plastic called cellulose acetate propionate has more transparency and glossy than other plastics. Conventional frames made of nylon are brittle, so that modern manufacturers use blended nylon such as polyamides and gliamides, which are strong and lightweight. These blended nylon frames are particularly suitable for sports.

As stated before, each type of material has both pros and cons. Most wearers have clear mind about the benefits of using plastic frames. A majority of plastic frames are hypo-allergenic and lightweight. These two points or advantages are incomparable by other materials. In particular, the extreme lightness of plastic frames is quite valuable. However, plastic frames are generally easier to break than metal frames, say they are not strong enough. Other disadvantages include aging, strength decrease, color fading and so on.

Metal materials

The second major group of frame materials includes metals. Monel is the most commonly used metal for eyeglass frames. It features corrosion-resistance and malleability. Appearing in silver-gray, titanium and beta-titanium frames are favored by more and more people because they are lightweight, durable, strong and corrosion-resistant. Titanium can be applied in a combination of another metal such as nickel or copper. Beryllium glasses are a lower-cost alternative to titanium glasses. They are the best choice for people with high skin acidity or individuals working in salty environments. This material is also lightweight, strong and very flexible. Recognizing these valuable attributes, manufacturers in other industries also apply beryllium, such as radiation windows, mechanical applications, magnetic applications, nuclear applications, acoustics, electronic etc.

Another material featuring low toxicity and strength is stainless steel. It is an alloy of steel, chromium and another potential element. First developed by Marchon, Flexon is a titanium-based alloy that is lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant. This unique material has gained much acceptance due to its unusual flexibility. Aluminum is another high corrosion-resistant material that is used in high-end eyeglass frames. Commercially used aluminum combines small amounts of silicon and iron.

Traditional metal eyeglass frames have given the impression of exerting excessive weight on the nose. This is a natural side-effect of using metal frames. Well, the current situation is that most of the above metals have been greatly improved in terms of lightness. Some are actually alloys that featuring light weight. Conquering this major concern in the customers, metal frames are expected to serve better with their advantages like strength and corrosion resistance.

Materials flattering special tastes

Besides plastics and metals, there are still some unusual frame materials. Eyeglass frames made of silver or gold are rare and expensive. Wood and even bone can be used to make eyeglass frames, bringing unique beauty. Buffalo horn frames provide an elegant look and help keep your body temperature. Leather can be used on temples or across frame fronts, which is interesting and fashionable. Semi-precious or precious stones and rhinestones are sometimes used as accents in frames.

It is undeniable that these materials are rarely used. So it may take time to find a pair in the market. But their existence is quite reasonable for they can flatter some customers’ special tastes. Silver and gold frames help create an elite look on the face. Decorative elements like leather on the frames bring an interesting image.