What is robust enough for astronauts’ helmets, tough enough to stop bullets, but light enough for eyeglasses, and flexible enough to make DVDs?
The answer is Lexan, the world’s most versatile and widely used plastic. The properties listed below make Lexan suitable for a variety of applications ranging from water bottles to laptops to boats:
- Lexan has high impact resistance and a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is 200 times more impact resistant than glass while being 5–6 times lighter. For these reasons, Lexan is easier to transport, handle, and install than glass.
- Lexan has low flammability, high polish, and glass-like clarity. However, for applications like eyeglasses, it requires a scratch-resistant coating since its surface can be easily scratched.
- It’s flexible and can be molded without cracking. Lexan can be repeatedly heated and cooled without any deterioration in its properties.
- It holds up well to high temperatures and corrosive chemicals.
Where Is Lexan Used?
Common Lexan applications touch every part of our lives. Industries that often use Lexan include:
- Aerospace and automotive: These industries use Lexan to make strong but light windshields for planes, trains, and automobiles. This material is also used to build bullet-resistant windows for automobiles and isolation walls for bank counters.
- Defense: Military manufacturers value Lexan for its light weight and high strength. This material is used to build components for military vehicles and jet fighters. Several accessories carried by soldiers are also made with Lexan to reduce the total weight that they carry.
- Technology: The technology industry, especially electronic component manufacturing, uses Lexan because it insulates well against electricity and resists heat and corrosive chemicals. Lexan is used in large quantities to make CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs as well as computer and television screens. Lexan’s low weight and high impact resistance also make it suitable for use as laptop and cell phone cases along with video game controllers.
- Environmentally friendly products: Eco-conscious products are composed of Lexan because this material is highly recyclable. Reusable water bottles, food containers, canteens, and glasses are made with Lexan. Lexan is far better than glass for these applications since it resists fractures while retaining the transparency of glass.
Why Is Lexan So Widely Used?
Lexan is so widely used because its properties make it an attractive raw material for industrial manufacturing. It has the good characteristics of similar materials like glass and acrylic without any of their weaker properties. Furthermore, Lexan’s undesirable qualities like poor scratch resistance and susceptibility to yellowing by UV rays can be easily addressed with protective coatings.
The main reason for Lexan’s large-scale use in manufacturing is its high impact resistance. It’s 200 times more impact resistant than glass, whereas acrylic’s impact resistance is only 8 times that of glass.
Additionally, Lexan can be fabricated in layers to make it bullet resistant. It’s also used to make containment-grade sheets to protect against forced entry with sledgehammers and similar tools. Bullet-resistant and containment-grade Lexan is much more cost effective than glass during fabrication and shipping.
Components made with Lexan are suitable for use in harsh environments because of Lexan’s resistance to high temperatures and harmful chemicals like acids. Despite its toughness and strength, Lexan is light and flexible, which makes it suitable for making eyeglasses, computer screens, and TV monitors.
Quality Lexan from New Process Fibre
New Process Fibre Company (NPF) has over 90 years of experience in providing industrial parts for a diverse range of manufacturers, and we offer many fabrication services as well. Our product catalog and service portfolio cover many thermoplastic materials, including Lexan.
Contact NPF today for all your Lexan requirements.