Lenses made with Trivex material groove and drill well, resisting cracks and flacks that often plague other lens materials.

With its seemingly limitless applications, Trivex has become a prominent material found in many of today’s lenses.

For anyone who’s been in the optical field for a while, it may seem hard to believe that Trivex® lens material has been around less than 10 years. That’s because in its short lifetime, the material has made huge strides in market share and has become a competitive mainstream product.

Originally conceived of as a potential replacement for CR-39® material, PPG Industries, Inc. experimented with Trivex material in late 1999 through the early 2000s; it became available commercially in 2002. In that year, two lens manufacturers, Younger Optics and HOYA VISION CARE, North America, initially launched designs using their own branded products based on the Trivex material platform (Trilogy® and Phoenix™, respectively).

Today, most lens companies have jumped on the Trivex material bandwagon. With benefits such as impact resistance, light weight, a high Abbe value, UV protection, thinness, and chemical resistance—it’s easy to see why.

Originally finding a niche in rimless eyewear, lenses made from Trivex material have found a solid foundation in the overall eyewear market. According to PPG, data collected from The Vision Council shows that Trivex material is approximately 4% to 5% of the U.S. market. Additionally, the growth rate for 2010 was approximately 8% to 9%, while the entire optical lens market was flat (0% growth).

Passing the ANSI Z87.1 High Velocity Lens Impact Test, lenses made from Trivex material are virtually unbreakable. With a specific gravity of 1.11 g/cm3, this material is the lightest commonly used ophthalmic lens material available. Lenses made with Trivex material groove and drill well, resisting cracks and flacks that often plague other lens materials. It also is highly resistant to common chemicals used around the home and office, which enhances its durability.

Trivex lens material is also advertised to be optically clear because of its high Abbe value. A low Abbe value indicates dispersion in a lens that detracts from quality vision by creating rainbows of color around objects. Trivex material has an Abbe value from 43 to 45, depending on lens brand being referenced.

The index of refraction of Trivex material is 1.53. With 85% of patients falling in an Rx range of +3.00D to –3.00D, Trivex material’s mid-index makes it an ideal lens choice. In fact, it’s recommended for Rx’s up to about +/-5.00D, especially with the use of aspheric design. Even in higher powers like +9.00D to -8.00D, Trivex’s thickness is within 0.5mm of the thickness of polycarbonate (1.59 index).

Today’s popular brands have their designs in Trivex material. For example, Essilor of America, Inc.’s Varilux® and DEFINITY® as well as Shamir Insight, Inc.’s Autograph® and Genesis™ are made with Trivex material. Need safe, lightweight lenses for patients who are auto mechanics, carpenters, or plumbers? X-Cel Optical Co.’s Aris™ Trivex lenses are available in FT 35, FT 8×35, and even Double D 28. In addition, Signet Armorlite, Inc., Carl Zeiss Vision Inc., Augen Optics, NXT, Thai Optical Group, and high-performance sunwear brands Costa, Bollé, Carrera, Julbo Eyewear, Under Armour, Serengeti, and Rudy Project North America all feature lenses made with Trivex material.

Trivex material is available in Transitions® lens options like Transitions VI, Transitions XTRActive™, and Transitions SOLFX™. It’s offered in polarized form (such as Younger Optics’ NuPolar® and Intercast’s NXT®), and in sun lenses from popular active sunwear manufacturers like Julbo, Bollé, Rudy Project, Nike, and Costa, to name a few. Trivex material is fully compatible with digital (free-form) surfacing.

The noteworthy array of advancements in Trivex lens material make it ideal for many eyewear patients.

Debra R. White is a former opticianry professor. She is currently an optical consultant, lecturer, and writer.

PPG Industries, Inc.
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