Our molded plastic lens solutions

Mold injection of plastic lens is a cheap and efficient way of manufacturing plastic optical components for big quantities orders. With the possibility to have several cavities on one mold, one shot (or one injection) can produce tenths of components. On top of the cost interest is the possibility to inject complex parts in shapes and that may be easier to assemble.  Different materials are available, from PC to PMMA and Zeonex. Plastic optical components are also lighter that their glass conterparts.

press for optical plastic lens casting

During the mass production process of optical components, plastic injected lens product is often the most suitable choice. Unit price of plastic pieces appears to be much lower than optical glass. First step in the process of producing plastic components, the mold realization. If there is not much differences between PC and PMMA processing, molding allow a very high fidelity for complex shapes reproduction. Such as aspheric lenses.

optical injection tooling

Mold for plastic injection

This molding process is called molding-injection process and fit for the realization of any lens shape. This machine is composed of molding die that ensure a similar volume for all lenses produced, and a great reproductability.

In order to guaranty high optical homogeneity it is important to pay attention to four elements :

  • Purity of injected material (both from other platics materials and from polluants like oil or water)
  • stable injection pressure
  • clamping time of the part in the mold
  • cooling of the parts.

Plastic components are softer than glass so easier to scratch. To lower this risk thermal hardening of the plastic injected parts is possible.

Casting of optical components is usually done with below materials :

Material Other names Refractive Index Abbe number Price Details
PMMA Acrylic | Polymethyl methacylate 1.4906 53.18 $ Good optical properties
PC Polycarbonate | Lexan | Makrolon 1.5848 27.86 $$ Good mechanical properties, resistant, higher birefringence
Polyolefins Zeonex | COP | Cycloolefin polymer 1.5305 51.79 $$$ lighter, lower moisture absorption
zeonex lens matrix

Discover more about the plastic material used for injection :