SABIC’s Tough, Lightweight Ultem* Resin Solution Replaces Metal in Intermestic’s Stylish, New Zoff SMART Eyewear Frames

BERGEN OP ZOOM, The Netherlands – March 21, 2012 – SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business’ world-class expertise and technology were further evidenced today with the company’s announcement that Intermestic Inc., a specialty retailer of eyewear and accessories, has chosen tough, lightweight Ultem* polyetherimide (PEI) resin for the frames of its new line of Zoff SMART eyeglasses. The tailored, aerospace-grade Ultem resin material solution helps meet Japanese consumer demands for fresh, new eyewear styles with exceptional long-term performance and feather-light comfort; by allowing Intermestic to eliminate titanium and aluminum from the material selection process. The Ultem resin also provides exceptional flexibility, flame retardance, and resistance to chemicals, heat and ultraviolet (UV) light, as well as greatly expanded design freedom, which enabled Intermestic to create stylish, eye-catching frames for sophisticated consumer appeal. The success of the new Zoff SMART eyeglass line showcases how SABIC is continuously improving technology, applications and solutions to help its customers succeed.

“We are delighted with the capabilities of SABIC’s Ultem resin, which represents a new chapter in the evolution of eyewear,” said Mr.Takeshi Ueno, president, Zoff. “This one material provides a complete solution for creating superior frames – from extremely light weight for wearability, to exceptional elasticity that allows you to bend the earpieces freely. The high quality and performance of this SABIC technology continues to help us achieve competitive advantages in our market space.”

“Our Ultem resin has proven its quality and performance in a range of extremely demanding applications in key markets such as aerospace and healthcare, and its versatility gives this material great potential to add value in consumer goods,” said Takeshi Maruyama, Japan country manager, Innovative Plastics. “At SABIC, we take the time to understand the diverse industries where our customers compete, whether it’s aerospace or eyewear, and create customer-centric solutions to meet the standards of those segments. The Zoff SMART frames help validate Ultem resin’s continued success in replacing traditional materials to reduce weight and improve design freedom. We believe that by taking the lead in using Ultem resin, Intermestic will be in a stronger position to capture a larger share of the rapidly growing eyeglass market in Japan.”

The Japanese eyewear sector is expected to grow from 450 billion Japanese Yen (JPY) (USD$ 5.54 billion) in 2011 to 1 trillion JPY (USD$ 12.32 billion) in 2015.

The Eyes Have It

Ultem resin delivers a broad range of desirable performance properties for eyeglass frames. The material offers elasticity coupled with resistance to deformation, allowing the frame to be bent easily yet returned to its original shape. Zoff SMART frames made with Ultem resin meet the Japan Standard Association JIS B 7285 standard, whose testing includes 20,000 bending repetitions (opening and closing the frame). The SABIC resin’s dimensional stability ensures that the lenses are retained in the frame, while heat deflection at high temperatures protects the frames even when left on a car dashboard in hot sun.

In addition to its intrinsic light weight of up to 50 percent vs. metal, Ultem resin is suitable for precision thin-wall molding down to 1.2 mm, cutting weight even more. The weight of the Zoff SMART frame is 9.4 g without the lens, which compares very favorably to metal frames typically weighing around 20 g. The material can be custom colored to provide a wide range of aesthetic effects.

Other potential eyewear applications for Ultem resin include entertainment eyewear (such as 3D glasses) and safety glasses.

“SABIC is very proactive in its approach to understanding changing customer needs and acts quickly and effectively to help our customers succeed,” added Maruyama. “Our successful collaboration with Intermestic to help develop the Zoff SMART eyeglasses is a clear example of how we do this.”

For additional information on SABIC’s high-performance Ultem resin, please go to For technical product inquiries, please contact us at

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Notes for editors

About Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies, and is a global market leader in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC manufactures with a global footprint in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with more than 33,000 employees worldwide. It has significant research resources with 17 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India and South Korea. SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 29.24 billion (US$ 7.80 billion) in 2011, and sales revenues totaled SR 189.90 billion (US$ 50.64 billion).

About Innovative Plastics

SABIC’s Innovative Plastics strategic business unit is a leading, global supplier of engineering thermoplastics with an 80-year history of breakthrough solutions that solve its customers’ most pressing challenges. Today, Innovative Plastics is a multi-billion-dollar company with operations in more than 35 countries and approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The company continues to lead the plastics industry with customer collaboration and continued investments in new polymer technologies, global application development, process technologies, and environmentally responsible solutions that serve diverse markets such as automotive, electronics, building & construction, transportation, and healthcare. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film, and sheet. Innovative Plastics ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

About Intermestic Inc.

Intermestic Inc. is an eyewear manufacturer and retailer under its brand Zoff by two group companies; Zoff, Inc. and Zoff (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. With its SPA (Specialty store retailer of Private label Apparel) system, integration from planning to distribution enabled the cut and minimization of losses in the supply chain to provide reasonably-priced and high-quality products to customers in Japan and China via its franchise stores which are supported by the company's franchise management package system. As of December, 2011, the company operates 108 stores in Japan and 8 stores in Shanghai.

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* Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP B.V.

SABIC is a registered trademark of SABIC Holding Europe B.V.

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