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Frame Materials

Ah, so you thought glasses came in metal or plastic?  
Well, you would actually be correct, glasses do come in metal or plastic. 
However, there are a multitude of frame material options available to you in this day and age, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the requirements you need. 


a lightweight and strong metal

Pros: Titanium is as strong as steel, lightweight, hypoallergenic, and corrosion-resistant, hence can be made very thin.
Cons: This material is more expensive than other materials. Beware of the difference between “pure titanium” and “titanium alloy.” 


a nickel, copper and iron alloy

Pros: As a mixture of metals, monel is quite flexible and corrosion-resistant. 
Cons: Surface discolouration can occur when exposed to atmosphere conditions. Pitting can occur when in contact with salt water. 

Stainless Steel 

a metal alloy of iron and carbon steel with chromium and other elements

Pros: Non-corrosive, hypoallergenic, durable and strong.  
Cons: Not as lightweight, heat-resistant or flexible as titanium. 

Natural Materials 

includes Bone, Wood and Horn, fashioned down from complete pieces for use as large or smaller sections of a frame

Pros: Frame will be more unique than other materials. Often a statement piece. Usually the material will be from a sustainable source.  
Cons: More expensive, difficult to adjust and heavier than other materials.


precious material 

Pros: Rust-proof, hypoallergenic and inert, highly luxurious and definite statement piece. 
Cons: Expensive and pure gold frames are soft, therefore need extra thickness causing them to be heavy. Gold frames usually are accompanied with a core of a stronger lightweight material. 

 Memory Metal 

titanium alloy metal which can be bent without breaking, and returns back to its original shape

Pros: Durable, lightweight, hypoallergenic and flexible.  
Cons: Not many, although can be broken when bent too severely. Wearers can sometimes use them as a ‘showpiece’ unnecessarily bending them, causing damage. 

Cellulose Acetate

predominant plastic glasses material which is bio-degradable and processed from cellulose

Pros: Hypoallergenic, lightweight and comfortable. As a thermoplastic, it can easily be adjusted with heat. Can be fashioned into many vivid colours and styles. 
Cons: Higher cost as more costly to manufacture. Can warp when left in hot direct sunlight. 


high quality thermoplastic material usually used in sports and wraparound glasses

Pros: Lightweight, impact resistant and easily moulded into a variety of shapes. 
Cons: Difficult to adjust, can become brittle with age. 
There are other glasses materials available on the market, with new ones being utilised constantly by creative designers.  
As always, please check in with your eyecare professional with any queries...or call Lais Opticians directly on 020 8478 1631


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