How Sunglasses Are Made

You may be wearing sunglasses several times already, but have you ever wondered how it is made? Although sunglasses can be worn on casual or formal occasions, most of them are made with the same materials. It will be interesting to know how sunglasses are made - from identifying the materials used for the frames to learning the processes of crafting lenses.

Why Wear Sunglasses?

Before you discover how to make sunglasses, it is significant to determine its purpose. Sunglasses are made to defend your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays. The eyes are susceptible to light; that's why they can be easily damaged by overexposure to radiation. If you don't protect your eyes, you may experience eye soreness and headaches.

Sun overexposure can also bring short-term effects, including snow blindness. There can also be permanent damage to the eyes if appropriate eye protection is not applied. It is why wearing sunglasses are beneficial to avoid cataracts and other eye problems.

How Do Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes?

There are different ways on how sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. The eyewear can either reflect or absorb the frequencies of light, reducing the amount of light that enters your eyes. The technique to control the range of frequencies is by altering the amount of colourizing additives added in the lens. For reflecting lenses, they have a multi-layer of anti-reflective coatings that screen out all colours of light and UV radiation.

On the other hand, the absorbing lens is a particular type of lens that filters out polarized light. With the use of a special optical filter, polarized lenses can eliminate the bright reflected light, reducing eye strain. However, it is essential to remember that polarized lenses do not block UV light. If you want complete eye protection, you may need additional lens coatings.

The Process of Making Sunglasses

Before, sunglasses were just tinted glasses that can help people reduce glare. Some people believed that darker lenses are better in protecting their eyes. These ideas have changed as time passes by. Eye experts have studied how to screen out more UV light. With the advancements in technology, the process of crafting sunglass has evolved. In making eyewear, it is vital to consider the design and the raw materials to be used.

Design. The two essential factors in crafting a sunglass are function and style. Many people wear sunglass to enhance their fashion statements. Since there are various types of stylish sunglasses, picking the best one could be challenging. When choosing fashionable eyewear, there are several factors to consider, including colour and shape. You may also select eyewear based on your personality and face shape.

In opting for functional eyewear, there is a wide variety of sunglasses to choose from. There are the usual sunglasses that protect your eyes against the sun's harmful rays. On the other hand, there is eyewear, which is specially designed for sports enthusiasts. For example, skiers need sunglasses that are designed to counter the light reflected by snow-covered areas. This eyewear is referred to as blue blockers because they can screen out the blue, violet, and ultraviolet rays.

Materials. Sunglasses are made of a frame and a pair of light-filtering lenses. For lenses, they can be crafted using either coloured plastic or glass. Many high-quality brands make use of distortion-free ground optical glass. The borosilicate glass is scratch-resistant. It can also resist impact by adding chemical treatments. Pigments such as soluble organic dyes and metallic oxide are added to the lens. These allow the lenses to reflect or absorb light of specific frequencies. It is significant to consider lenses that do not affect your sight when it comes to seeing the correct colour. There are chemical coatings that can be added to the lens to enhance your viewing.

For sunglass frames, they can be made of plastic, metal, or wood. Most of the time, eyewear made of plastic are the cheaper ones. Between metals and timber, the price depends on the type of metal or wood used. The expensive metal frames are mostly made of a mixture of nickel and other metals, including silver. On the other hand, wooden sunglasses are made of more sustainable material.

Processes in Making Sunglasses

#1 Add colours to the lens. Once the lens is made, it is now time to add colourants to it. It can be done in two ways. The first one is by putting colour to the molten lens material before forming it. The second one is chemically post-coating the finished lens. For plastic lens, soluble organic dyes or metallic oxide pigments can be added. On the other hand, metallic oxide or metal particles are used in glass frames.

#2 Cast the molten plastic or glass into the general lens shape. Cheaper lenses make use of simple pucks that are added to the frames.

#3 Place the lens in a curve generator. This process grinds out the back of the lens, which is based on the patient's prescription. 

#4 Add anti-reflective coatings to the lens. It is vital to create lenses that are evenly coated because it allows the coating to be removed or recoated after months of use.

#5 Mount the lenses in the eyeglass frames. Make sure to keep the lenses in place by using a tension mount or screw mount design. The tension mounting process is commonly used in sunglasses made of plastic. Since metals can be deformed easily, they utilize the screw mount design to hold the lenses in place.

There is a wide array of sunglasses that are available in the market, from inexpensive eyewear to designer brands. One of the essential things to keep in mind is the materials used in creating the sunglass since some individuals have allergies to plastic, metal, or wood. In choosing eyewear, opt for something that can give you complete eye protection.