MAKING A NEW MATERIAL WITH IDEAL SPRING PROPERTIES IN HARMONY WITH TITANIUM
Prior to the debut of Line Art CHARMANT in 2009, Charmant employees spent considerable time passionately working through trial and error to achieve unprecedented wearing comfort.
According to Hiroyuki Tada, who oversaw the development of Excellence Titan: “Not many brands have made their own materials. Titanium, which is light and durable, had previously been used as a material for eyewear. However, to attain the flex properties essential for “ultimate wearing comfort,” pure titanium was too hard, and nickel titanium, known as a shape memory material, was not easy to use as it had been designed for aircraft and automobiles.” Consequently, if the ideal material did not exist, we would have to make it ourselves.
Starting in 1995, Mr. Tada spent two years studying the elasticity of titanium alloy at the Materials Science & Engineering Research Center at the University of Washington. In 2000, he began a joint development project on a new titanium alloy with the Institute of Materials Research at Tohoku University. The goal was to realise a new metal that incorporated gentleness and flexibility while maintaining the excellent properties of titanium. This process was much harder than could ever have been imagined. The team spent countless months investigating more than 200 compositions, seeking the right blend ratio of the alloy. After getting advice from the then-President of Tohoku University, the team had a breakthrough, finally discovering the right metal blending ratio that retained elasticity even after coating and plating.
When asked about his impressions of the beauty and functionality of Line Art CHARMANT, Hiroyuki Tada explained:
“Just as farmers want people to eat their vegetables without giving much thought about the various ways of preparing them, as a materials engineer I thought it was enough to make frames with simple designs. However, I was pleasantly surprised when we created frames that combined functionality with unanticipated beauty—causing me to strive to generate even more amazing materials going forward!”