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Thread: Poly for the win?

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    Poly for the win?

    Recently had some information given to us that Polycarbonate is now at the "top of the chain" for material due to recent improvements. I have reservations due to historical patterns that seem to lean against Poly for many patients. Does anyone have new info that would support the theory that Poly is now a better option than Trivex? Let's just assume we are talking about a -2.00 and will include a Premium AR. I'd love to hear thoughts. Thank you!

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    Recently had some information given to us that Polycarbonate is now at the "top of the chain" for material due to recent improvements
    What exactly were the improvements made? Was this from one particular supplier? And which supplier said this?

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    It was information that was given at a training to my coworker. To my knowledge, The information was given to the teacher by way of someone from the vision council. I'm super curious as to what improvements have been made to the material. I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light as the info was vague.

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    Taken directly from the Vision Council website:

    Polycarbonate

    Benefits: No-distortion, shatterproof lens for kids, active adults
    Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and lighter than standard plastic varieties, and also much more durable. Polycarbonate is ideal for strong prescriptions because it corrects vision without adding thickness, which can distort the wearer's appearance. Best of all, polycarbonate lenses are virtually unbreakable, making them a great choice for children and active adults.
    Not sure if I'd be so bold as to proclaim poly as "distortion-free". Also not sure if the information that you've heard is marketing fluff from the Vision Council or legitimate improvements. A cursory search on the Google monster yielded little in the way of new information.

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think the only improvement was "low" heat extrusion mold system

    But optima resolution and other did it this more than 10 years ago

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    Atoric and aspheric backside freeform processing has reduced the off axis aberrations. STP processing using the turning tip has eliminated the lap/pad compensation and heat induced aberrations from toric surfacing, providing cleaner finished optics, but I wouldn't put Poly at the top of lens pyramid.

    Poly has improved over the past 3 decades. Processing has improved. COGs and profitability are awesome for the labs. Still, there are better materials on the market.
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    Great info. I appreciate the information!

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    I think the vast majority of patients are fine with poly. Trivex, is nothing magical, and is over used by people who think it's a must to be a high end optical. Its abbe value is no where near CR and will be thicker than poly, plus it is a nightmare to work with. I say use poly unless you have very good reason to think a specific patient has an issue with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ePii View Post
    I think the vast majority of patients are fine with poly. Trivex, is nothing magical, and is over used by people who think it's a must to be a high end optical. Its abbe value is no where near CR and will be thicker than poly, plus it is a nightmare to work with. I say use poly unless you have very good reason to think a specific patient has an issue with it.
    Agreed that TVX is overused, but considering its specific gravity and impact resistance, for low to mid RX, it fills the need very well. 3 piece, nylor, sports and safety, TVX beats CR39 hands down. For those that are sensitive to CA, Poly is not a great material. 1.6 would be a better alternative for mid-high RXs.

    Fitted properly, Poly is an acceptable material. We process over 60% of RXs in poly with less than 0.2% non-adapt, of which most are high decentration orders. Better frame fit, better optics and cosmetics.......

    There are many of us that can switch between CR39, TVX and Poly with no visual artifacts. So, Poly is not an evil material.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

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    Agreed. It is lighter, and thus does have a place, but considering how difficult it is to process it should not be a default. There are lots of offices that proudly say that they don't use CR or Poly and put everyone in Trivex. This makes zero sense.

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    Not all polycarbonate are made equal. You can't generalize. Trivex and CR-39 are mostly coming from the same places. Poly is being built everywhere, with all types of procedures and resin qualities. There's no one controlling minimum standards. Top-notch poly is better than Trivex. But can also more expensive than Trivex. The average poly in the retail market is just fine. Most people won't see any difference.
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    Most poly is fine. if you are buy from a reputable lab they are getting their poly from Vision Ease, Essilor, Zeiss etc. And even Somo is fine. I really think you can generalize since you have to be crazy motivated to save pennies on the lenses to find "bad" poly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ePii View Post
    I really think you can generalize since you have to be crazy motivated to save pennies on the lenses to find "bad" poly.
    You don't need to be crazy motivated. You just need to operate an on-line retailer to get all the motivation you need to sell crap poly. Tons of crap poly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ePii View Post
    I think the vast majority of patients are fine with poly. Trivex, is nothing magical, and is over used by people who think it's a must to be a high end optical. Its abbe value is no where near CR and will be thicker than poly, plus it is a nightmare to work with. I say use poly unless you have very good reason to think a specific patient has an issue with it.
    I will politely and respectfully disagree.

    Trivex has a better abbe value, it does not have the CA issues that polycarbonate has, it has better tensile strength (more ideal for half-eyes and rimless frames), it has slightly better light transmittance, and like someone earlier mentioned it has a lower center of gravity.

    If a customer is fitted correctly (ideally I know) where there is not a significant amount of decentration than the fact that it's 10% more thicker won't mean much. By the time we are getting into higher prescriptions CYL or SPH where the difference will matter we should be fitting people with a Hi-Index lens anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vfpamp View Post
    Top-notch poly is better than Trivex.
    Where would one source "top-notch poly", specifically what manufacturer makes it? What makes it objectively "better" than trivex? Again specifics would be great.

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    I will less than respectfully disagree. Whoever is selling that information is either clueless or full of sh*t. Poly has its place, and is the best choice in a few, select situations. Nine times out of ten it is absolutely not the BEST choice. But, if you want your clientele to become frustrated when their lenses chip and crack, please use poly. They will then become your former clientele.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    Where would one source "top-notch poly", specifically what manufacturer makes it? What makes it objectively "better" than trivex? Again specifics would be great.
    I wouldn't know which US optical labs are working with good poly. We work more closely to the precision optics folks in China that make lenses for scientific equipment (microscopes, telescopes, etc). But, the samples I have achieve Abbe of 43-47, at indexes of refraction of 1.55–1.56 and better scratch resistance than Trivex at a slightly higher UV protection on our tests. What attracted us to this particular technology was the fact that the remaining chromatic aberration was concentrated in the 400-500nm range (violet). The material's index of refraction is 1.56+/-0.5 from 500nm to 830nm but 158 at 400nm. This is particularly good for green/red calibration of devices. To the best of my understanding, the property comes from the use of carbonyl sulfide instead of the usual thiols and phosgene polymerization method. Looks like it's also a "greener" option to the manufacturing of polycarbonate (at least, that's what they sell).

    The Abbe number (more precisely, the index of refraction per wavelength of the material) is what makes it "objectively better" for me. But I expect every optician to have their own usually-contrasting notions of "better".
    Last edited by vfpamp; 02-13-2020 at 03:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vfpamp View Post
    I wouldn't know which US optical labs are working with good poly. We work more closely to the precision optics folks in China that make lenses for scientific equipment (microscopes, telescopes, etc). But, the samples I have achieve Abbe of 43-47, at indexes of refraction of 1.55–1.56 and better scratch resistance than Trivex at a slightly higher UV protection on our tests. What attracted us to this particular technology was the fact that the remaining chromatic aberration was concentrated in the 400-500nm range (violet). The material's index of refraction is 1.56+/-0.5 from 500nm to 830nm but 158 at 400nm. This is particularly good for green/red calibration of devices. To the best of my understanding, the property comes from the use of carbonyl sulfide instead of the usual thiols and phosgene polymerization method. Looks like it's also a "greener" option to the manufacturing of polycarbonate (at least, that's what they sell).

    The Abbe number (more precisely, the index of refraction per wavelength of the material) is what makes it "objectively better" for me. But I expect every optician to have their own usually-contrasting notions of "better".
    I appreciate the detailed response. Is anyone using this material in eyeglasses? Is it called polycarbonate by the manufacturer? Seems like you are talking about a completely different material than what opticians would call Polycarbonate. Do you have a link to the Precision Optics folk in China?

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    The sheer amount of fear-mongering and misunderstood facts about poly, and CA in this thread are laughable! But keep on pushing that trivex folks. PPG thanks you from the bottom of their pocket book. LOL

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    Anyone who swears by Trivex should first have to work in a lab for a year then say how they feel. Trivex is fine but Poly is better when all things factors are considered and compared, i.e price, ease, thickness, weight and even abbe value. Btw CR is still optically the best organic material we have. Most people just get indoctrinated by their Hoya or Younger rep, most patients can't tell the difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ePii View Post
    Anyone who swears by Trivex should first have to work in a lab for a year then say how they feel.
    Why, that makes no sense. If you run the lab and think Trivex is too hard to process, or wears out the equipment too much, either don't offer it or charge accordingly for it.

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    We use poly for a tiny, tiny amount of jobs because our company considers other materials better in most situations. I would say we have more issues with the few jobs we sell in poly than we do with the majority of jobs we sell in trivex. It cracks and stars, something I've never seen happen with trivex. And we don't buy 'cheap' poly.

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    It's not that Trixex is too hard to work with, it's that it's notably harder to work than other materials without offering significant benefits. I'd rather have optical professionals be a bit more critical about the information that they get indoctrinated with. The fear mongering and propaganda in this industry is truly destructive, and very few people even know when they're being lied to by the oligarchs.

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