Eyeglass frames come in plastic, metal and other materials. Metal is the most durable eyeglass frame material, with six metal options to choose from. But two metals rank as the most durable: flexon and titanium, with steel being equal to titanium but offering fewer color options. One of the three plastic eyeglass frame materials lands on the most durable eyeglass frames list as well: nylon.
Flexon is a hypo-allergenic lightweight eyeglass frame metal that is strong and flexible. It is also corrosion-resistant, making it favorable for those who work, live or participate in sports in varying outdoor weather conditions. This metal frame is a titanium-based metal allow. One unique aspect of the flexon frame is that it has the ability to return to its original shape in spite of twisting, bending or crushing of the frame, according to All About Vision. That is why flexon is known as the “memory metal.”
The second most durable eyeglass frame choice is a nylon plastic frame. This isn’t the nylon frame first introduced in the 1940s. This is a blended nylon. Just like flexon, this frame is lightweight and strong. It is also hypo-allergenic and flexible. As a nylon frame, it can be coated with many different colors, providing an option more durable flexon frames do not have. According to All About Vision, sports enthusiasts generally prefer nylon frames because they more successfully withstand heat and cold and provide more flexibility than metal. But they break more easily than metal frames, and their overall strength is inevitably diminished by sunlight exposure and the aging process.
Titanium and titanium alloy metals are used to make some of the most durable eyeglass frames. Their strength is comparable to stainless steel, in fact, but with titanium frames offering more options than stainless steel in regard to textures, patterns and colors. Lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant, titanium frames and those made of titanium alloy (titanium combined with nickel or copper) have even been used for the space capsules of both the Apollo and Gemini missions. The medical community uses titanium for medical implants such as heart valves, further illustrating their durability even in conditions involving moisture and other extreme conditions. Also, if cost is a factor, titanium alloy frames cost less than frames that are 100 percent titanium.