Plastic eyeglass frames share many of the repair problems that metal eyeglass frames experience. Even though most of a plastic eyeglass frame is not metal, many of its presenting repairs involve metal components.
Hinge Repairs for Plastic Frames
Almost all plastic eyeglass frames have threaded fasteners in the hinge assemblies and the full range of re-threading, as well as fill and drill and tap procedures may be required.
Any torch work done on the metal hinge components requires that the component be removed from the frame either by reversing the thermos-set anchor, or drilling out rivet attachment points to separate the metal hinge section from the plastic body of the frame front or temple arm. The worn or damaged threaded section or eyelet can then be repaired in the same manner of a metal frame before the component is reattached to the plastic frame section.
The hinges on plastic eyeglass frames tend in general to be almost identical to those found on metal frames except for the way they are affixed to the frame front and the temple arm set.
Breakage of the eyelets of the hinge halves is common as is the shearing of the stem or throat of the hinge base from the eyelette assembly. As most metal hinge halves are thermo-set into the body of eyeglass frames, their replacement involves electronically heated hemostats and alignment racks to quickly and accurately replace these broken components.
Repairs to the Plastic Frames Themselves
More unique to the repair problems of plastic eyeglass frames are the breaks in the actual plastic itself.
This occurs most frequently in the surrounds that retain the lenses on either side of the bridge assembly. Even though the bridge assembly is frequently the largest gauge area of a plastic frame, it is not uncommon for FRAMEFIXERS EYEGLASS REPAIR to receive a plastic eyeglass frame with the bridge sheared into two halves.
In both cases, the repair involves a cross drilling of the plastic and the forming of a threaded section of reinforcement wire to insert and bond across the break.
When this is done in an alignment rack, and followed with a colored bonding material, the original break can be repaired in a manner that is both mechanically sound and cosmetically presentable.
Temple Arm Repair of Plastic Eyeglass Frames
The temple arms of plastic eyeglass frames present some very challenging repairs.
Depending upon whether the hinges are spring loaded or not a break of the hinge itself can be complex and time consuming.
A spring box assembly that must be replaced may involve a reinforcement wire that extends the entire internal length of the temple arm, and unlike a metal temple arm, the spring hinge assembly cannot simply be removed and replaced, but rather a complete strut must be affixed with a replacement spring hinge box assembly and reinserted into the temple arm itself.
Warping of the Plastic Eyeglass Frames
Another unique problem found in plastic eyeglass frame that is not experienced in metal ones is the shrinkage and warping of the plastic body of the frame front and temple arms.
This distortion is caused by heat, wear and the instability of the compounds used to create the plastic components.
To repair this problem demands that the frame be “blocked” in an alignment jig lined with a softer non-marring material.
Sometimes heat is used to affect this repair, but not always as some plastics have an adverse reaction to heat above room temperature. Testing and identifying the various plastics and knowing their characteristics is critical for this kind of work.
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