In the world of high performance sports, carbon fiber is the material of choice when lightweight, rigidity and strength are a must. Carbon fiber has been used in everything from bicycles, racing cars, helicopters, to kayak paddles, and military applications. Now this innovative material can be yours in the form of stylish lightweight eyewear.
Blac's story begins with designer Claus Bellinger and his fascination with McLaren's MP4-1 Formula 1 body which utilized carbon-composite. The MP4-1 was the first full carbon Formula 1 body, in the early 1980's when the standard Formula 1 car was a series of flat aluminum panels mechanically fixed together. The weight and strength advantage of the carbon-composite gave inspiration to Claus to do what has never been done on a production pair of eyewear. He went out to create the first adjustable full carbon fiber eyeglass frame.
After years in the making Bellinger's efforts were rewarded in 2012 with 4 patents for the world's first adjustable carbon fiber frame. Making an adjustable carbon fiber frame was difficult due to the stiff nature of the material and its tendency to return to its original shape if bent. This challenge was solved with the use of a titanium core placed within the layers of carbon fiber to hold adjustments made to the frames.
Each Blac frame is custom made by hand for each individual customer. Everything from the hinges, screws and temple tips are tailored for Blac eyewear. The carbon fiber used in each frame is manufactured from the raw material directly and no lacquer is added to provide the identifiable surface weave for a truly unique look. The production process for each frame is long and laborious. Each frame consists of 4-6 layers of carbon fiber and is cut by hand to fit in each mold. Next the carbon fiber is baked for a minimum of 7 hours and then it takes an additional 28 minutes to cut each individual frame front out of the mold due to its complicated structure. 30 minutes of grinding and polishing are then performed by hand for every frame to ensure quality and fit of each piece of the frame.
After all the parts of the frame are completed the 39 parts that make up a Blac frame (the Blac hinge alone consists of 9 separate components) are assembled. After assembly every frame goes through an extensive quality check to ensure the strict quality standards of every frame are met and a quality certificate is signed and included with each finished product.
Blac is always experimenting and building new frames with new materials, all of which include the adjustable carbon fiber temples. One of these materials is aluminum, which is also a very lightweight material. Blac uses the aluminum to craft a truly unique frame front with a modern clean look. All the aluminum is anodized to insure maximum strength and durability of the color, yet the frame remains adjustable and more flexible than other aluminum frames on the market.
For an additional coolness factor go for the Blac+ frames which have a frame front 3D printed from an exclusive polymide material called PP22. With this new material it is possible to create frames that are extremely lightweight, strong, and have excellent long-term durability and various finishing possibilities to create endless possibilities of eyewear design. The printing process for the frames uses a laser to melt the PP22 powdered material in three dimensions, printing 1 thin layer (0.12mm) at a time until the frame is complete. The finished frame is peeled from the leftover material, which is reused creating no waste. The frames are then tumbled, polished by hand, and then dyed before the production team assembles the frame into a finished product. The completed product makes a raw, masculine look that is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Whatever your style, stop in to see unique look and feel the comfortable difference of the lightweight carbon fiber frames made by Blac.