Eyeglass lens producer Sola International Inc. has begun casting thermoset lenses from allyl diglycol carbonate at its recently completed second Chinese joint venture manufacturing facility, located in Juifu.
Sola manages the site and markets the output in China to meet an increasing demand for ophthalmic lenses.
Sola holds a 50 percent ownership interest and manages the firm's initial Chinese joint venture, which opened at Xi'an in the 1980s.
Sola's sales and marketing network has Chinese operations in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu.
Sola estimates the Chinese market annually consumes more than 50 million pairs of lenses with less than 10 percent made with plastic.
``We have learned from our experience in other countries that consumers eventually shift to plastic lenses because they are lighter-weight and more impact-resistant,'' Adrian Walker, Sola's regional director for Asia, said in a news release.
Menlo Park, Calif.-based Sola employs 7,800 in 28 countries, operates 19 plants and reported profit of $28.2 million on sales of $402.6 million for the nine months ended Dec. 31.
Plastic lenses account for about 85 percent of Sola's sales, and glass lenses for the remainder.
Sola uses conventional thermoset resins in most plastic lenses, but has growing volume and sales from products of polycarbonate and its proprietary Spectralite material.