If you are shopping for sunglasses, you may have heard that polycarbonate is the best choice for lenses. But just what are polycarbonate lenses, and what makes them superior to other plastics?
What Are Polycarbonate Lenses?
Polycarbonate, as a material, was first developed in the 1970s for aerospace equipment and is still used today in helmet visors for astronauts and windshields in space shuttles, explains All About Vision. The material only started being utilized for eyeglasses in the early 1980s, due to its lightweight and impact-resistant qualities. Nowadays, you will find polycarbonate lenses in almost all safety glasses and sports goggles.
Other plastic lenses are made through cast molding, which involves baking the plastic into the shape of a lens and then waiting for it to solidify. In contrast, polycarbonate lenses are made through injection molding. The material comes in small pellets that are heated to melting point and then injected into lens molds under high pressure. The whole process takes mere minutes to complete.
The Advantages of Polycarbonate Lenses
- They are much thinner and lighter than lenses made from other types of plastic, meaning they are more comfortable, especially for the smaller faces of children.
- They’re light weight means that they absorb energy without fracturing, giving them up to 10 times the impact resistance of other plastics.
- They block 100 percent of UV rays without needing any lens coating.
- They are available in a wide variety of lens designs, including multifocals such as progressive lenses.
For playing sports, lenses are just one consideration — you also need to know that frames will not splinter upon impact or break away from lenses, which could injure your eyes or face. The best protection comes from shades or eyewear designed for sports, as these often have polycarbonate frames just like lenses.
All the shades in the Real Kids collection have polycarbonate lenses to provide your children with optimal security and comfort. Plus, many of our sunglasses, including all of the sports designs, feature polycarbonate frames. Check out all our styles online to find a pair that your child will love.