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Sustainable materials

We take every effort to source and use as many sustainable materials as possible to ensure we minimize our impact on the planet. This calls for some high-tech solutions, turning sustainable organic materials into some of the highest-quality materials on the eyewear market today.
Neubau sustainable material natural3 D 16x9

Castor oil: A high-performance and sustainable raw material

The castor beans used to pro­duce oil for our bio-based plastic are sourced from a cooper­at­ive of 2,730 cer­ti­fied farm­ers in India. The farm­ers are part of a sus­tain­able farm­ing move­ment called the PRAG­ATI Ini­ti­at­ive. Under this ini­ti­at­ive, they have adop­ted improved farm waste man­age­ment prac­tices and received safety kits and intens­ive train­ing to improve their skills and help them cul­tiv­ate in an eco­lo­gic­al way. The castor oil plants used for our eye­wear are all non genet­ic­ally mod­i­fied (non-GMO).

Castor oil is a col­or­less to pale liquid with a very dis­tinct taste and smell. The oil and its deriv­at­ives are used in a wide range of man­u­fac­tur­ing applic­a­tions, includ­ing lub­ric­ants, hydraul­ic and brake flu­ids, paints, dyes, coat­ings, inks and nylon. Its many remark­able prop­er­ties have earned the castor oil plant the title of mir­acle plant”, how­ever, it is also well known for being the source of the deadly tox­in ricin. This tox­ic pro­tein is only found in the seeds of the plants which must be handled with extreme care. Ricin is insol­uble in oil which means it can be safely removed from the oil dur­ing the press­ing pro­cess. Cold pressed castor oil is there­fore non-tox­ic which is why it is also widely used in med­ic­a­tions, cos­met­ics and as the base of biopoly­mers such as nat­ur­alPX and natural3D.

From castor oil to innovative biopolymers

The heavy use of pet­ro­leum based plastics around the world is tak­ing a huge toll on the envir­on­ment. The over­con­sump­tion of these plastics deplete pre­cious min­er­al resources and des­troy massive parts of our envir­on­ment. The dis­til­la­tion of pet­ro­leum and the crack­ing of naphta require enorm­ous amounts of energy. These factors led to the devel­op­ment of our plant-based altern­at­ives nat­ur­alPX and natural3D.

Neubau Kreislauf PX 2001 RZ

Benefits of naturalPX and natural3D

Resource-sav­ing

nat­ur­alPX and natural3D are both biobased plastics made from renew­able castor oil, oppos­ite to non-renew­able pet­ro­leum-based resources that are dam­aging to the envir­on­ment. At the moment, biobased plastics only make up 0.5% of all man­u­fac­tured plastics world-wide, so we are lead­ing the way in devel­op­ing and util­iz­ing mater­i­als that do not deplete the planet’s pre­cious min­er­al resources.

Fant­ast­ic wearability

nat­ur­alPX and natural3D are not just kinder to the envir­on­ment, they also have many spe­cial prop­er­ties that optim­ize the look and feel of neubau eye­wear. They are even 30% light­er than acet­ate, which is the most com­monly used plastic for the pro­duc­tion of eye­wear. Their high elasti­city and form sta­bil­ity also ensure that the frames fit well and retain their shape.

Beauty and flex­ib­il­ity in design

nat­ur­alPX is more trans­par­ent than glass. This won­der­ful char­ac­ter­ist­ic makes it pos­sible to pro­duce a wide vari­ety of innov­at­ive col­or com­bin­a­tions and crys­tal-clear fin­ishes, per­fect for cus­tom­ers who want to express their unique style and per­son­al­ity. natural3D has slightly dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties, but still offers a great deal of flex­ib­il­ity in terms of col­ors and styles. Our 3D frames are dis­tin­guished by their fine details, rich opaque col­ors and tex­tures which would be hard to achieve using con­ven­tion­al man­u­fac­tur­ing methods.

Pol­lut­ant-free

The pro­cesses involved in the extrac­tion of castor oil do not demand high levels of energy, which means car­bon diox­ide emis­sions are very low. Our cus­tom­ers can there­fore pur­chase our eye­wear safe in the know­ledge that we are doing everything pos­sible to min­im­ize our company’s car­bon foot­print. In addi­tion, both mater­i­als are free from harm­ful chem­ic­als such as BPA, BPS and plas­ti­cizers which are major pol­lut­ants and are linked to a wide range of health problems.

Made to last

Today’s envir­on­ment­ally con­scious con­sumers are look­ing for well-designed products that last. Frames made from nat­ur­alPX and natural3D are designed to stay in shape and stand the test of time which is great for cus­tom­ers who fol­low the eth­os of buy less and buy better”.

Skin-friendly

nat­ur­alPX and natural3D are hypo­aller­gen­ic mater­i­als. This means they do not react with your body’s nat­ur­al chem­ic­als or any­thing else you put on your skin.

naturalPX

65% of this innov­at­ive bio-based poly­am­ide mater­i­al is made up of oil extrac­ted from organ­ic­ally grown castor beans. The remain­ing 35% is reg­u­lar poly­mer which is needed to rein­force the strength and elasti­city of the mater­i­al. nat­ur­alPX doesn’t just help us min­im­ize our car­bon foot­print, it allows us to design and man­u­fac­ture High-per­form­ance eye­wear in a wide range of styl­ish col­ors and finishes.

Injection molding

For our nat­ur­alPX mater­i­al we have developed an extremely fast injec­tion mold­ing pro­cess which takes approx­im­ately 1 minute for every frame. This high speed injec­tion mold­ing meth­od con­trols the flow of nat­ur­alPX more pre­cisely as it enters the mold which makes the pro­cess more effi­cient and pre­vents unne­ces­sary waste. More than 90% of the mater­i­al that is used is pro­cessed to pro­duce a new frame. Any small amounts of excess nat­ur­alPX that escape can be recycled. 400 frames can be pro­duced by each injec­tion mold­ing machine every day, mak­ing this a highly effi­cient and sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cess.

Neubau production natural PX granulate

The coloring process

We have spent many years devel­op­ing soph­ist­ic­ated pro­duc­tion meth­ods to pro­duce attract­ive colored spec­tacle frames. Two meth­ods are used to pro­duce our col­lec­tions of vibrant or subtly shaded eye­wear. Col­or can be added to the nat­ur­alPX mater­i­al before it runs through the injec­tion mold­ing pro­cess, or addi­tion­al col­or can be added after this pro­cess through air brush­ing, dip dying, digit­al print­ing and oth­er pro­cesses which are well guarded trade secrets.

Neubau production natural PX color powder web

Our mater­i­als nat­ur­alPX and natural3D are free from harm­ful chem­ic­als such as BPA, BPS and plasticizers.

Dominik Füreder
Product manager - neubau eyewear

natural3D

natural3D is 100% bio-based poly­mer made from non genet­ic­ally mod­i­fied castor oil beans which we use in our 3D print­ing pro­cess. This mater­i­al is not only derived from a renew­able source, it also enables us to pro­duce the frames without cre­at­ing sol­id or cut­ting waste, so the whole pro­cess leaves an extremely small eco­lo­gic­al footprint. 

natural3D pro­duces extremely robust and dur­able com­pon­ents com­par­able to those cre­ated with our nat­ur­alPX mater­i­al. It is also solvent res­ist­ant and plas­ti­cizer free.

Our natural3D prin­ted frames are extremely flex­ible and impact res­ist­ant. This robust mater­i­al ensures that the frames retain their shape and are built to last. 3D prin­ted frames are also extremely light­weight, in fact, they are 30% light­er than acet­ate. The cut­ting-edge fin­ish­ing and seal­ing pro­cesses used dur­ing 3D print­ing pro­duces frames with a beau­ti­ful finely pored sur­face, so they look and feel great too.

3D printing with natural3D

In simple terms, our 3D print­ing pro­cess involves sin­ter­ing lay­ers of powdered plastic into a sol­id struc­ture. This is known as SLS (select­ive laser sin­ter­ing).​“Sin­ter­ing” is the pro­cess of form­ing a sol­id shape by heat without melt­ing it to the point of lique­fac­tion. The SLS pro­cess is car­ried out in the 3 steps: Heat­ing, Print­ing and Cooling.

Find out more about natural3D and our 3D print­ing pro­cess by watch­ing our video:

Titanium

We only use high-grade titani­um from Japan from sup­pli­ers who meet our rig­or­ous qual­ity require­ments. Titani­um can also be used in a sus­tain­able way as only min­im­al amounts of mater­i­al are used to pro­duce excel­lent res­ults. Titani­um can also be con­sidered as a sus­tain­able mater­i­al, because it does not deteri­or­ate, it can be used forever and is easy to recycle. Due to its high strength and low dens­ity, products can be made small and light which avoids the unne­ces­sary use of energy resources.

Our titani­um provides our frames with great elasti­city, strength and sta­bil­ity, mak­ing them the ideal choice for act­ive people. This mater­i­al has many bene­fits as it’s stronger and more light­weight than many ordin­ary metals. It is highly res­ist­ant to wear and tear and will stay look­ing new­er for longer. It is also hypo­aller­gen­ic and can be used for med­ic­al pur­poses such as transplants.

Stainless steel

Stain­less steel is an alloy of iron and car­bon steel with chro­mi­um and oth­er ele­ments. It is widely used in the food industry and med­ic­al applic­a­tions because of its dur­ab­il­ity, sur­face fin­ish and res­ist­ance to cor­ro­sion. Stain­less steel is an envir­on­ment­ally friendly choice of mater­i­al as it can be recycled an indef­in­ite num­ber of times, with no degrad­a­tion. 65% of the stain­less steel we use for our products is recycled steel and it is estim­ated that around 80% of all stain­less steel world­wide is recycled, mak­ing it the most recycled mater­i­al on the plan­et. Stain­less steel is an ideal mater­i­al for products such as our neubau frames that are designed to look good and last a long time. It’s light­weight, has excel­lent mech­an­ic­al prop­er­ties and a sleek appearance.

Characteristics of Stainless steel

Stain­less steel is very light­weight and flex­ible, mak­ing it a great choice where com­fort is a pri­or­ity. As it is also a very ductile mater­i­al, it allows us to cre­ate ultra-thin and intric­ate frame designs. It is also non­cor­ros­ive, highly dur­able and res­ist­ant to breakage. 

Neubau optic Sarah stainless steel

We push things for­ward with new tech­no­lo­gies and sus­tain­able materials.

Dominik Füreder
Product manager - neubau eyewear
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