Innovative plastics ideas optical applications

Innovative plastics ideas for optical applications

9:47 AM, 7th April 2018
Innovative plastics ideas for optical applications
Innovative plastics concepts from Evonik unite safety, function, and design in children's glasses.

Whether bio-based transparent polyamides or medically approved elastomers: The worldwide leading speciality chemical company from Germany, Evonik takes advantage of its expertise in polymer design to unite safety, function, and design in eyewear.

They’re lightweight, colourful, and absolutely safe: a cute colourful pair of children’s glasses. A sophisticated combination of materials—TROGAMID® Terra, a transparent, microcrystalline biopolyamide, and VESTAMID® Care, a medically approved polyamide 12 elastomer—from Evonik unites unlimited freedom in design with uncompromising safety and health.

“Our portfolio of high-performance plastics offers glass manufacturers an innovative variety of materials geared toward today’s trends in the optical industry—in terms of aspects like design, weight, or quality,” said Tina Huang from Evonik’s consumer goods market segment.

Specialists in polymer design  

The outer frame of the children’s glasses is made of TROGAMID® Terra. This biopolymer is manufactured from up to 50 percent renewable raw materials, such as palm kernel and coconut oils. Its rigidity, low weight, and considerable resistance to abrasion, heat, and chemicals are what make the plastic so impressive.

The inner frame and nose pads of these glasses were designed with VESTMID® Care ME, a polyether block amide (PEBA) that weighs very little and is unusually soft to the touch, which maximizes comfort for the wearer. “When we selected the materials, we switched over to a medical product class, because we also wanted the inner frame of the glasses to prevent injury and slippage—two properties that are especially important in children’s glasses,” explained Huang.

Another grade of VESTAMID® Care ME is the material of choice for the temple elements. This high-performance plastic is hard enough for the glasses to sit well, yet at the same time feels pleasant against the skin. The material makes it possible to avoid the use of metal for connecting the temple arms to the front of the frame and allows for child-appropriate temple designs that can be changed with very little effort. The use of a medically approved product class rules out the possibility of irritation or other allergic responses in sensitive children’s skin.

Evonik makes eyewear “purple” – the colour of the year 2018

It's over 50 years of experience make Evonik a leader in the development and manufacture of high-performance plastics for optical applications. Using its TROGAMID® for example, Evonik makes eyewear “purple” – the colour of the year 2018.

However, the provocative colour has become increasingly perceived since the American Pantone Color Institute announced “ultra violet” as the trend colour of the year 2018. Evonik follows new ideas presenting its TROGAMID®, a permanently transparent polyamide which is light, strong, and easy to colour - not only “purple”.

Capture: Using its TROGAMID®, Evonik makes eyewear “purple” – the colour of the year 2018

TROGAMID® T5000, an amorphous polyamide with a transparency of 90 percent, is an ideal material for optical manufacturers. Compared to other transparent polyamides, the high-performance polymer offers higher recovery and rigidity. Moreover, the material is especially suitable for manufacturing thin frames and semi-rimless eyewear frames, which can significantly reduce the frame weight without affecting material performance. This in turn greatly improves wearing comfort.

Lighter, stronger and more efficient

Lightweight design is particularly relevant for the optical industry. The high strength and rigidity of TROGAMID® T5000 enable the production of thinner and lighter eyewear frames. Additionally, TROGAMID® T5000 is more resilient than heavier conventional frames, which translates into greater freedom for designers.

While consumers tended to focus on aesthetics in the past, they now place greater emphasis on product quality and performance. Optical manufacturers carefully consider material properties for their choices. TROGAMID® T5000 is characterized by its easy processing and colouring properties that save time and money for maximum efficiency.

A frame revolution for sport glasses

TROGAMID® also is the material of choice for sports glasses. Evonik’s transparent polyamide is considered to be the ideal replacement for already established materials by means of its improved wearing experience and enduring style.

Suitable sports equipment not only symbolizes the fashion but also brings comfort and convenience to the consumers. Sports enthusiasts are always looking for the lighter sports equipment.

Characterized by its lightweight construction, TROGAMID® CX9704 makes the sports glasses’ frame lighter than other materials. Therefore, the wearing experience will be significantly improved. Meanwhile, the advantages of TROGAMID®’s outstanding transparency as well as the easy processing and colouring give the freedom in design and guarantee the fabulous appearance.

Sand, dust, creams or sweat–sunglasses are exposed to a lot. Low temperature and tough weather condition will also influence the frame’s enduring performance. Manufactures were obsessed with these unsolved problems in the past. However, thanks to the excellent chemical resistance, TROGAMID®-based sports glasses frame is free from sun cream’s damage and assured with longer product cycle. In addition, TROGAMID®’s remarkable weathering resistance under extreme condition also offers the glasses more ductility but strong and enduring performance even under the extreme weather.

VESTAKEEP® PEEK for more wear comfort and less weight

Innovation at Evonik with VESTAKEEP® PEEK supported the creation of the Plasteel Eyewear which is a lightweight & tough optical frame with a unique patented plastic rim lock design.

The Eyewear weighs just 9 grams whereas traditional frames weigh as much as 23 grams, thereby offering the greatest wear comfortability. In addition, Plasteel frames’ rim height can be designed to be as low as 1.6mm while the thickness at the temple can be as thin as 0.9 mm. The frames are ultra-strong and can sustain a 360 bending test without breakage providing performance & protection against broken eyewear especially in sports activities. With a patented plastic rim lock design, the frames allow prescription lenses to be mounted easily and eliminate damages associated with traditional ‘push through’ method.

Capture: VESTAKEEP® PEEK for more wear comfort and less weight

Plasteel inherits its excellent mechanical properties and performance from VESTAKEEP® Polyether ether ketone (PEEK). Evonik's PEEK material is a high-performance thermoplastic polymer ideal for producing reliable & long-lasting components for use in the toughest conditions. It is characterized by its superior resistance to stress cracking making it suitable for injection moulding very thin components. VESTAKEEP® PEEK has a high energy absorption and its ductile behaviour can prevent any premature deformation and cracks in the frames. Furthermore, VESTAKEEP® PEEK has excellent biocompatibility and biostability due to the polymers’ high chemical resistance and thermal stability.

It's over 50 years of experience make Evonik a leader in the development and manufacture of high-performance plastics for a variety of applications. In addition to PA 12, PEBA, and PEEK, the speciality chemicals company also offers its “Terra” product line of biopolyamides, which closes the gap in the spectrum of polyamide properties that could previously be attained.

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