Graphene has enormous potential for application in numerous of the industry’s sectors due to its superior properties compared to any other known substance. In 2017 this versatile, surprising material debuts in eyewear thanks to Luxottica and Ray-Ban, confirming the Group’s innovative pioneering spirit.
Graphene has a fascinating story. In 2004, two scientists at Manchester University using simple sticky tape managed to isolate one of the billions of overlapping sheets of carbon that make up graphite, commonly known as pencil lead.
They had “synthesized” graphene, the lightest and finest material of all those in existence, but also the most resistant and flexible. It is efficient at conducting heat and electricity, resistant to temperature, clear and at the same time so dense that even helium, the smallest atomic gas, cannot pass through it.
Its properties proved to be superior to any other known substance. For this revolutionary discovery, the two scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.
GRAPHENE DEBUTS IN EYEWEAR
Graphene has found application in diverse technologically innovative sectors – electronics, energy, automotive, sport – but related research continues relentless. New applications are discovered practically every day, expanding the spectrum of possibility. In 2017 the material debuts in eyewear thanks to Luxottica and Ray-Ban, confirming the Group’s innovative pioneering spirit.
“For us project managers on the R&D team, the hardest challenges are those that call for us to turn theoretical studies and new scientific discoveries into a real pair of glasses. This object apparently so simple and familiar, embodies innovations and advanced technologies” said Andrea Lazzari, Project Manager – Injected Materials, R&D Agordo.
Ray-Ban has always been on the cutting edge of experimentation into new hi-tech, high-performance materials. The perfect alchemy of the brand’s timeless aesthetics and the latest in technology is evident in each new collection, which guarantees maximum levels of style and comfort. After Liteforce from the aerospace industry and special titanium alloys, now we see the arrival of the exclusive new Light-Ray prescription eyewear collections in graphene, a true Nobel prizewinner!!
During the creation process of this collection, every detail—from design to production techniques—has been studied to make the best use of the incredible characteristics of graphene. The molds, for example, were designed with special care to facilitate equal distribution of the material, a special mixture of resins and graphene, all over the front of the frame.
The new collection has understated and elegant aesthetics. The models are functional, ultra-light yet resistant: studied maximum comfort goes perfectly with the high quality of design and materials. Colors are dark, lit by metallic shades that highlight the presence of graphene: black, gunmetal, grey, blue, brown and purple.
The future of graphene is still waiting to be written. It is undoubtedly an on-trend material, about which much is known but much still remains to be discovered. Luxottica is relentlessly studying new application opportunities for graphene in its products, in collaboration with research centers, universities and a specialized supplier in Europe that works with an eco-sustainable process.