Let's be honest. When you're looking for a new pair of sunglasses, the last thing on your mind is the frame material you're buying, right? The most common thing is to choose a frame that you like and choose a model that fits your face.
Of course it's important to choose a pair of glasses that matches the shape of your face. This does not invalidate that the material is a factor to be taken into account. The material the glasses are made of is an indicator of the possible durability of the product we are purchasing.
It makes sense to know the materials that the glasses are made of and to understand the characteristics of each one, for a more accurate and informed choice.
Vegetable (or cellulose) acetate
First prepared in 1865, cellulose acetate has several uses. We are talking about a chemical preparation based on "pulp" from wood, acetic and sulphuric acid, which
is found in cigarette filters, card decks, in the manufacture of fabrics for clothing, tapestry and other textile products.
With a high level of resistance, it is ideal for those who drop their sunglasses with some ease. It considerably reduces the risk of scratches on the frame, as well as the damage that can be caused by water, oil or grease. Vegetable acetate also has very good malleability characteristics, which makes it very easy to transform.
The greatest advantage of this material is the feeling of comfort it provides. The frames made with this material do not have the need to have platelets in the nasal region, nor spikes in the rods, adjusting easily to our face. Moreover, it is an anti-allergic material, it can be found in a wide palette of colours and in different types of frames due to its malleability.
The metal frames are extremely lightweight, discreet, long-lasting and are easily adjusted to the face of those using them. The fact that they have adjustable platelets in the nasal area is one of the elements of that easy adaptation to the user's face. Some models also have the possibility of adapting the spikes to fit the ears correctly.
However, unlike acetate, the metal-framed glasses can give rise to allergic reactions due to the materials that make up the metal alloy. Nickel, for example, can be quite dangerous, as many people are allergic to this element.
Another negative aspect of these frames is that they can oxidize and corrode, compromising durability and at worst causing skin irritation.
Used in a multitude of industries, aluminium is the most abundant metal element on the earth's surface. It has a high electrical conductivity, is corrosion-resistant and has a very low melting point (660.3 °C). It is also easily recycled.
If you prefer a strong and light material, aluminium should be your choice. However, make sure that the measurements of the glasses are the right ones for your face, because this material has a very low elasticity and does not fit easily.
Just like acetate, it can be found in a wide range of colours and is visually modern, as well as being anti-allergic.
It is a metal alloy composed of iron and chromium, which does not oxidize. It is extremely light, resistant and flexible. The glasses with this composition are easy to adjust, and its biggest advantage is the quality/price ratio.
It is a chemical element used on an industrial scale in light alloys. It considerably reduces the weight of the frames, making the glasses comfortable and leave no marks on the face. It exhibits optimum flexibility and solidity which makes it one of the most durable materials on this list. It is resistant to water, salt and other corrosion agents.
It is available in several colors and is hypoallergenic (low probability of allergy).
There is a massive notion that the materials injected are of inferior quality, but that is not so. First of all, it is important to clarify that when we talk about injections, we are referring to various materials. There is, however, one characteristic that is common to almost all these materials, malleability. This attribute allows different designs to be created than usual.
Propionate: It presents greater fluidity and elasticity, which allows the inclusion of metal.
Grilamide: This material has an optimum relationship between stiffness and toughness (a material's ability to absorb energy and deform plastically without fracturing). Widely used in sports sunglasses because it is resistant to falls.
Polycarbonate: It is mouldable when heated, which makes it belong to the group of thermoplastics. It resists impacts very well, as does shackles, which also makes them suitable for sports.
Carbon Fiber: A synthetic fiber composed of small carbon filaments. Its mechanical properties are similar to steel, but it is as light as wood or plastic. It is a very light and resistant material, however, its difficult repair has made the market lose interest.
Triglamide: Its main advantages are its resistance to chemical agents and its shock resistance. It does not deform and has a superior lightness.
Nylon: The first synthetic textile fiber produced by man. Most common in children's glasses for being light, unbreakable and hypoallergenic.
Now it's up to you! Choose the material with the characteristics that most interest you and the glasses indicated for your type of face.
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