Tribrid material drills well and withstands the rigors of rimless eyewear.

PPG’s newest lens material uses a unique hybrid technology.

It’s not very often that a new ophthalmic lens material is introduced, so when one does come out it’s a good idea to spend time researching its features and benefits. As you do, you’ll probably consider how well it might fit into your office’s lens recommendation strategies. Making its debut at Vision Expo East, PPG Industries, Inc.’s Tribrid™ material is ready for you.

With a name similar to its sibling, Trivex® material, Tribrid material is positioned as a new lens material using a distinctive hybrid technology that combines the qualities of Trivex material with those of traditional high-index materials.

Comparison of Selected Lens Materials
CR-39® Trivex®
1.60 Tribrid™ 1.67
Index of Refraction
1.50 1.53 1.60 1.60 1.60 1.67
Specific Gravity 1.32g/cm3
1.11g/cm3 1.21g/cm3 1.30g/cm3 1.23g/cm3 1.37g/cm3
Exceeds FDA 18x 400x 400x 30x 170x 30x
Abbe value 58 43-45 32 37-41 41 32

An easy way to understand the advantages of Tribrid lens material is to see its performance characteristics when graphically compared with some of the most popular lens materials (see ”Comparison of Selected Lens Materials,” right). Notice that Tribrid material’s index of refraction is attractively high. In fact, it rivals that of polycarbonate and 1.60 lens materials and is reasonably close to 1.67 to be a worthwhile substitute for it.

Tribrid material is light too. In fact, it’s the third-lightest lens material behind Trivex material and polycarbonate. Combined with its high refractive index, its specific gravity helps create light and comfortable lenses. It is also clear. Coming in with an Abble value of 41, Tribrid material has an optical performance that patients will appreciate and exceeds other materials in this category (polycarbonate, 1.60, and 1.67).

MAKING RIMLESS EYEWEAR FOR A MYOPE Here’s a comparison of a -4.00D lens for a rimless job.
Tribrid™ (1.60) 1.67
Center thickness
Edge thickness
Abbe value
41 31

One of the surprising data points in the chart is the “exceeds FDA” row. These data illustrate the number of times each lens material exceeds the FDA dropball impact-resistance test (being capable of withstanding the impact of a 5/8-in. stainless steel ball weighing 0.56 of an ounce dropped free-fall 50 in. onto the surface of a lens). As you can see, CR-39® and similar ADC (allyl diglycol carbonate) materials exceed the FDA requirement by 18 times. Both 1.60 and 1.67 materials exceed the FDA requirement by 30 times while Tribrid exceeds it by 170 times. At the top end, Trivex material and polycarbonate exceed the FDA requirement by 400 times.

According to PPG, Trivex material is suitable for kids’ eyewear and will provide adequate eye protection, but for situations where eye protection is paramount (as it would be for a child playing sports like baseball or basketball), Trivex material or polycarbonate would offer the maximum impact resistance.

Tribrid material drills well and withstands the rigors of rimless eyewear like Trivex material does. It’s also lighter and thinner than 1.67, which makes Tribrid material a good high-index candidate for rimless eyewear instead of 1.67 or polycarbonate. It tints easily and can be made quite dark. It’s also chemically resistant, very durable, and can absorb UV light 100%.

This new material packs a lot of features and promises to provide meaningful benefits for eyewear patients.

Ed De Gennaro is Director, Professional Content of First Vision Media Group.


PPG Industries, Inc.
800-323-2487 •


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