Sabic says that its Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin has been used to make a range of lightweight spectacle frames.

‘Being able to offer [customers] frames in Ultem resin that have a metal look, but which are lighter and have design features that are difficult and much more expensive to achieve in solid metal, provides us with a considerable advantage in a very competitive global market,’ said Xia Guangnian, CEO of Zhengda Optical, which makes the frames.

Zhengda Optical treats the frames using a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that applies a very thin layer of metal onto their surface at a temperature of around 150°C.

‘Ultem resin’s resistance to high temperatures enables it to resist the PVD process very easily and the metal also bonds very well to the resin,’ said Guangnian. ‘On top of this, the combination of Ultem’s high strength and very good flow properties means that we can make high-performance frames that are thin and light – which makes them very comfortable to wear.’

This story uses material from Sabic, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.