Choosing the right kind of glass or glass substitute material for installation, replacement work, or manufacturing can be a daunting process. One material to consider for this exact reason is Lexan. The material provides variety in usage and applications. We explore its many usages, benefits, and even some disadvantages.
What is Lexan?
So, the question is; what is Lexan exactly? To put it shortly,
Lexan is the brand name for polycarbonate resin thermoplastic. It is a hard substance that can be deformed in extreme heat and derives from the family of thermoplastics. Once formed, the polycarbonate resin thermoplastic sheets are so hard that their strength is considered to be 250 times greater than glass, 30 times greater than acrylic, and stronger than plexiglass, though the materials are comparable.
The material was discovered by both General Electric (GE) and Bayer in the mid-nineteen hundreds. Bayer, though, had been using the material under the name of Merlon, then later Makrolon, since 1958. However, it was General Electric (1960) who gave the material it’s a brand name of Lexan, a term that was widely accepted by the industry.
The main Advantages of Using Lexan
There are many advantages to use a material such as Lexan. The long list of benefits includes but not limited to:
- The material’s overall resistance to crack, considering its strength when compared to glass, acrylic and plexiglass and other polycarbonates
- It is especially great for impact resistance
- It is highly flexible and durable when compared to similar materials
- It can withstand temperatures up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit before changing shape
- It is not easily burned or flammable
- It provides 90% of visible lighting when compared to the clarity of glass
- It can be drilled without breaking or deformation during the process
- It is highly resistant to acids and other kinds of chemicals that includes gasoline
- It can also be reformed and bent at normal temperatures, or even in cold temperatures, without applying heat
Because of these reasons, the material is considered to be among the most popular for a variety of usage and applications.
The Disadvantages of Using Lexan
With any benefits, there will, of course, be some tradeoffs and disadvantages with how the material performs and can be used, however. Some of the disadvantages of using the materials include but are not limited to:
- While it’s flexible and provides durability, the material also scratches very easily
- Lexan tends to yellow over time due to UV rays lighting
- There are some low tolerance for certain chemicals, especially ones in cleaners and ones used for removing surface dirt, scum and debris
- The clarity of the material is also poor. It also cannot be polished to restore any previous clarity
- It is more expensive to purchase than glass, acrylic, plexiglass and other forms of thermoplastics
As you can see, when compared to other materials such as glass, acrylic, plexiglass and even polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), lexan is highly preferred for overall strength and durability, especially those in high temperature and resistant environments.
And while there are some drawbacks, there’s a reason the material is used so frequently.
Where is Lexan being used?
When we compare Acrylic Glass vs Lexan, Lexan is best for usage where the look and appeal is not a top priority. The importance and main objective in using this material are to take advantage of its strength and durability. Some common usage of the material includes but not limited to:
- Making bullet proof resistant glass and windows
- Machinery and robotic equipment
- Windows and windshields for cars and planes
- The reuse of drinkable bottles
- The use of computers and phones cases
- The molding of urethane and silicone casting
- It’s great for window well covers
- It’s also great for the use of diffusers and LED light pipes
- Football visors and hockey helmet
- Blue-ray discs, CDs and DVDs
Again, the material used is a vast amount of industries and sectors. From sporting to technology, aerospace and automobiles, construction, military and defense, plumbing, the medical and health industries and much more.
Where can you buy perfect quality Lexan?
You can get your hands on the material, especially that of high quality, fairly easy. Glass Genius, a unique online marketplace for glass and glass replacement, provides buyers the opportunity to contact good suppliers of Lexan, quotations at a minimal rate and in a short period of time.