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What Are Polycarbonate Lenses for Sunglasses?

Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses.

  • 100% UV protection
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Scratch resistant 

A Brief History of Polycarbonate
Originally designed for cockpits in fighter planes, polycarbonate offered an impact-resistant, perfectly clear window. This gave pilots a full-field of vision without compromising safety. In the 1970s, the popularity of polycarbonate exploded and began to be used for everything from pilot’s glasses to astronaut helmet visors and space shuttle windshields to bullet-proof windows and CD’s and of course, eyewear.

Polycarbonate and Sunglasses                                                                                                        In the 1980s polycarbonate lenses were introduced to consumers as a safe, affordable alternative to standard plastic or glass eyewear. Today, polycarbonate lenses set the standard in eyewear safety.


Ideal for:

  • Athletes; people who participate in active or rough sports 
  • Hazardous job environments
  • Children (as they have a greater tendency to drop their glasses and play rough)
  • People who prefer rimless eyewear because the polycarbonate because it is so strong is less likely to fracture than plastic or glass lenses
  • Blind people

(photo by e.saver.com)

What Makes Polycarbonate the Safest Lens Choice?
Polycarbonate lenses are the most impact-resistant lenses on the market because of its manufacturing process. The majority of other plastic lenses utilize a cast molding process. This is when a liquid plastic material is baked for long periods, in lens form, until the liquid plastic solidifies into a lens.

On the other hand, polycarbonate is a thermoplastic material produced from small pellets, eliminating the cast molding process and instead uses a process called injection molding in which the pellets are heated to a melting point. Once in liquid form, the polycarbonate is quickly injected into the lens mold. At this phase, the lens molds are compressed under high pressure and cooled to form a final lens product.


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