Lenses may be tinted, mirrored, coated, graduated, transition, polarized, or non-polarized, and come in a variety of materials.
Let's pit the time-honored glass against the upstart polycarbonate to help you decide which lens material is ideal for your needs.
Glass has been used for optics for almost a thousand years, making it the industry veteran. The glass lens provides benefits that warrant its continued use, despite its declining popularity.
The benefits include unparalleled scratch resistance. Glass, like other materials, may be scratched, however the material's intrinsic properties make it resistant to scratches and negate the need for a protective covering.
Because of its superior optical clarity, glass is still employed in a wide variety of optical instruments. These include, but are not limited to, camera lenses, microscope objectives, and binoculars.
Glass is cumbersome and unpleasant to wear for long stretches of time, particularly if you need a strong prescription. High-index lenses are necessary if you want your prescription eyeglasses to have a thinner lens. When compared to regular glasses lenses, high-index lenses have a better capacity to bend light rays and enhance optical clarity because of their higher refractive index.
It may be scratch-proof, but it certainly isn't crack- and shatter-proof. Due to its low resistance to impact, glass may be harmful if it breaks when struck.
UV rays may easily damage the eyes, yet glass provides almost little protection against them. Glass isn't suitable for use in sunglasses without a special UV coating.
Glasses with Impact-Resistant Polycarbonate Lenses
In 1953, two scientists independently invented polycarbonate within a week of each other while being on different ends of the globe. Lenses made of polycarbonate, which had previously been utilized primarily in the electrical and electronic industries for things like distributor and fuse boxes, became popular in the 1980s.
Since then, polycarbonate lenses have dominated the markets for children's eyeglasses, sports goggles, and safety glasses.
The benefits of the polycarbonate lens include its invulnerability to breaking and its ten times greater strength compared to ordinary plastic or glass lenses, making it an excellent choice for use as safety glasses or in sports.
Polycarbonate lenses are more pleasant to wear for extended periods of time since they are lighter and thinner than glass lenses.
Because they are made of a material that naturally blocks 100% of UV rays, polycarbonate lenses provide the advantages of eyewear protection without the need for additional coatings.
The lightweight and malleability of polycarbonate make these lenses more versatile than glass lenses, allowing them to fit into lenses that would otherwise be too small for standard prescription sunglasses.
One drawback is that polycarbonate may easily be scratched, thus it must be coated with a scratch-resistant material to ensure long service life.
Though polycarbonate lenses are a fantastic choice for the vast majority of individuals, some people have reported issues with clarity of vision.
Other Plastic Lenses for Eyeglasses This alternative to glass lenses, known as CR-39 plastic lenses, was first created in the 1940s. Because of their low weight and high resistance to damage, they are ideal for moderate prescriptions and are well regarded.
Trivex glasses: Trivex lenses, which were first introduced in 2001, are an alternative to polycarbonate lenses. These lenses are stronger than regular polycarbonate lenses and are 100% effective against UV rays. You may put your worries about scratched lenses in glasses to rest with these.
Lenses made from high-index plastic have a higher refractive index than standard plastic lenses, enabling them to be thinner and lighter. People who need a stronger prescription will benefit from them.
When it comes to sunglasses, one lens style may be better over another depending on the wearer and the intended application. Glass lenses are preferred by purists, although polycarbonate lenses provide superior protection in the event of an accident. We'll consider it a win as long as you're rocking some kind of sunglasses.