What kind of glass is tough enough to stop a bullet and sturdy enough to be used in an astronaut’s helmet, yet flexible enough to be shaped into CDs and light enough to make eyeglasses? Lexan Glass ™ is the only kind of glass with such unique traits.

LEXAN™, a brand name for a type of polycarbonate resin thermoplastic, stands out in the world of materials for its remarkable durability and flexibility. This article explores the unique properties of LEXAN glass, its various applications across different sectors, and some fascinating facts that underscore its growing popularity and utility.

What is Lexan Glass?

You might not have heard its name, but you still use it every day. Most of our drinking glasses, water bottles, and bus windows are made up of Lexan glass.

LEXAN™ glass, known for its near-indestructibility, is a robust alternative to traditional glass and even some plastics. Developed in the 1960s by General Electric, LEXAN™ has since become synonymous with high-impact resistance and clarity. Its adaptability makes it a preferred material in a plethora of applications ranging from bulletproof windows to compact discs.

Lexan is a kind of thermoplastic, which means that it can withstand high degrees of heat to change its shape without breaking. It is a reliable material due to its strength against impact, which is about 250 times higher than ordinary glass.


Eight Magnificient Properties of Lexan Glass

eight properties of lexan glass

Outstanding Impact Resistance

One of the most celebrated attributes of LEXAN polycarbonate is its exceptional impact resistance. This material can withstand severe impacts and extreme forces without shattering, making it far superior to glass and many other plastics in safety and durability. This characteristic is particularly valuable in applications where safety and protection are paramount, such as in bulletproof windows, eyewear, and protective gear.

High Optical Clarity

Despite its strength, LEXAN™ maintains a high level of optical clarity, comparable to that of glass. This makes it suitable for applications that require transparency along with high impact resistance, such as in automotive windshields, smartphone screens, and aircraft canopies. LEXAN™ can also be manufactured with various surface textures and colors while retaining its clarity and brightness.


LEXAN™ polycarbonate is significantly lighter than glass, which offers numerous advantages in terms of transportation, installation, and structural design requirements. Its lightweight nature makes LEXAN™ ideal for use in vehicles and aircraft, where weight reduction is crucial for fuel efficiency and performance.

Thermal Stability

LEXAN™ exhibits excellent thermal stability and can withstand temperatures from -40 to 120 degrees Celsius without deforming or losing mechanical properties. This thermal resistance makes it suitable for use in environments subject to drastic temperature changes, ensuring consistent performance regardless of external conditions.

UV Resistance

While polycarbonates naturally tend to yellow when exposed to UV light, Lexan Glass ™ can be treated with UV-resistant coatings to mitigate this effect. These treatments extend the life of products made from LEXAN™, maintaining their appearance and integrity when used outdoors or in sun-exposed applications.

Versatility in Processing and Shaping

LEXAN™ can be easily molded into complex shapes and sizes, which is beneficial for manufacturing a wide range of products, from intricate components of electronic devices to large, seamless panels used in architectural projects. It can also be drilled, cut, and formed post-manufacturing without cracking or breaking, which provides tremendous flexibility in design and application.

Flame Retardancy and Chemical Resistance

LEXAN™ is inherently flame retardant, making it a safe choice for applications that require strict adherence to fire safety standards. Additionally, it offers good resistance to acids, oils, and other chemicals, ensuring durability in harsh chemical environments, such as in industrial settings.

Eco-Friendly Aspects

Recognizing the need for sustainable materials, LEXAN™ polycarbonate is recyclable. Its durability also means that products made from LEXAN™ have longer lifespans, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimizing waste.

The Four (4) Big Sectors And Applications of Lexan Glass

This is why Lexan and Lexan Glass have such a high number of applications globally. We’ve listed the four places of tremendous use:

1. Technology

technology applications of lexan glass

Technology, as we know, is getting more advanced but also smaller. The first Macintosh computers took up an entire room, while the latest computers can fit in the palm of your hand. This is why the world of technology requires lightweight and durable materials.

Lexan is an incredible insulator for heat and electricity and defends against corrosion. This explains its need for computer devices and small components.

  • Smartphone Screens: LEXAN™ is used in some mobile phone screens and covers, offering a durable, scratch-resistant alternative to traditional glass.
  • Laptop Cases: Its impact resistance and lightweight nature make it suitable for protective laptop cases and other portable electronics.
  • Wearable Technology:  Wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, require materials that can withstand daily wear and tear while remaining light and comfortable. LEXAN™ meets these needs perfectly.
  • Semiconductors: Lexan Glass is used in the fabrication and handling of silicon wafers. These wafers are extremely delicate and require precise handling to avoid any damage during the manufacturing process.


2. Military Defense

military applications of lexan glass

The high impact resistance and lightweight nature of Lexan make it an ideal material choice for manufacturing military equipment, including helmets, shields, and windows for jet fighters and military vehicles.

LEXAN™ glass, renowned for its high impact resistance and durability, is a crucial material in military defence applications. Its unique properties offer enhanced safety features and operational efficiencies, making it an indispensable component in various military settings. Below, we explore how LEXAN™ glass is employed in the defence sector, highlighting its pivotal roles.

Armored Vehicles

One of the most critical applications of Lexan Glass ™ in the military is in the construction of armoured vehicles. These vehicles require materials that provide maximum protection while retaining functionality under extreme conditions.

  • Windows and Windshields: Used in the windows and windshields of armoured vehicles, providing a lighter alternative to traditional ballistic glass without compromising on safety. Its ability to withstand impacts from projectiles and shrapnel is vital for the protection of personnel inside the vehicle.
  • Periscopes and Optical Devices: The clarity and durability make it suitable for periscopes and other optical devices used in armoured vehicles. These applications benefit from its ability to transmit light almost as well as glass while being much more resistant to breakage.

Personnel Protection

  • Ballistic Eyewear: LEXAN™ is used to manufacture ballistic eyewear, offering soldiers protection against high-speed particles and debris. The lightweight nature of LEXAN™ ensures that this eyewear is comfortable to wear for extended periods while providing superior protection.
  • Riot Shields and Helmets: In riot control scenarios, LEXAN™ glass is used for shields and visors in helmets. Its high-impact resistance ensures it can withstand strikes and thrown objects, providing safety to personnel engaged in peacekeeping and crowd control operations.

Aircraft and Naval Applications

  • Aircraft Canopies and Windows: The material is used in the canopies of fighter jets and helicopters, offering high optical clarity and resistance to bird strikes, airborne debris, and environmental factors like UV radiation.
  • Submarine Viewports and Instrument Covers: In naval applications, LEXAN™ provides robust, pressure-resistant viewports in submarines and protective covers for sensitive instruments and displays, protecting against the harsh marine environment.

Surveillance and Reconnaissance

  • Protective Housings for Cameras and Sensors: Lexan Glass ™ is often used to house cameras and sensors in drones and other surveillance equipment. It protects sensitive electronics from environmental damage while ensuring that the devices can capture clear, unobstructed images.
  • Communications Equipment: Used in the enclosures for radios and other communication devices, providing durability and resistance to impacts, thus ensuring that communication lines remain open even in adverse conditions.


Eco-friendly Products

eco friendly products where LEXAN Glass is used

Green Building Solutions

Lexan Glass ™ glass is extensively used in the construction of green buildings, contributing to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

  • Skylights and Eco-Friendly Roofing: LEXAN™ is perfect for skylights and translucent roofing in eco-friendly buildings. Its excellent thermal insulation properties help maintain consistent indoor temperatures, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling. Moreover, the natural light that filters through reduces the reliance on artificial lighting, cutting down energy consumption.
  • Solar Panels: LEXAN™ covers can be found on solar panels where they protect the photovoltaic cells from the elements while allowing optimal sunlight penetration. Their UV resistance ensures that they don’t yellow over time, maintaining efficiency in solar energy systems.

Consumer Products

  • Reusable Water Bottles: Lexan Glass ™ is used in the manufacture of high-quality, durable, and lightweight water bottles. These bottles such as Nalgene water bottles are a sustainable alternative to single-use plastics, encouraging consumers to reduce waste.
  • Eco-Friendly Electronics: For electronics, Lexan Glass ™ offers an environmentally friendly alternative to other plastics used in phones, laptops, and other devices. Its capacity for reuse and recycling helps manufacturers reduce their environmental footprint.

Outdoor and Recreational Gear

LEXAN™’s impact resistance and lightweight make it ideal for outdoor and recreational products that are both durable and less taxing on the environment.

  • Bicycle Helmets: LEXAN™ is used in the production of bicycle helmets, providing safety without the environmental cost associated with less sustainable materials.
  • Camping Equipment: From durable, lightweight camping cookware to protective gear, LEXAN™ helps reduce the environmental impact associated with outdoor activities.


Automotive Industry

lexan glass in EV cars

In the automotive world, sustainability and efficiency are more than just buzzwords—they’re imperative for future development. LEXAN™ glass is at the forefront of this transformation, offering a multitude of benefits that enhance vehicle performance while aligning with eco-friendly practices.

LEXAN™ glass is renowned for its lightweight properties, which are crucial in the design and manufacturing of modern vehicles. It significantly reduces the overall weight of vehicles, which in turn enhances fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. This is particularly impactful in the realm of electric vehicles (EVs), where reduced weight directly correlates to increased range and efficiency. The use of Lexan Glass ™ in EVs is a testament to the industry’s shift towards more sustainable mobility solutions.

Additionally, Lexan offers remarkable durability and resistance to impacts. This makes it an excellent choice for vehicle windows and other components where strength and safety are paramount. Unlike traditional glass, it can withstand severe impacts without shattering, providing an added layer of safety for passengers. Its durability also means that vehicle parts made with LEXAN™ are less likely to need replacement due to breakage, further reducing the environmental impact over the vehicle’s lifecycle.

The automotive industry also benefits from the versatility of LEXAN™. It can be molded into complex shapes that are often required for innovative vehicle design. This flexibility opens up new possibilities for aerodynamics and aesthetic features that can be integrated into vehicles without compromising on performance or safety.

LEXAN™ glass is not only used in the structural and safety aspects of vehicles but also plays a vital role in enhancing the aesthetic appeal. Its clarity ensures that vehicle windows, sunroofs, and headlight covers do not only perform well but also look great, maintaining a high-quality appearance with resistance to weathering and UV light.

Moreover, the sustainability aspect of LEXAN™ is crucial in today’s environmentally conscious market. Being recyclable, LEXAN™ allows automotive manufacturers to reduce waste and promote circular economy practices within the industry. This aligns with global efforts to minimize the environmental footprint of automotive production and lifecycle management.

A gray car undergoing repairs

Automobile headlights, windshields, backlights, windows, and quarter glass windows are all made up of Lexan to prevent damage from rock chips, and the sturdy material minimizes damage from road accidents.

Lexan is frequently used in fast sports cars, airplanes, trains, and high-speed fighter jets. Automobile headlights, windshields, backlights, windows, and quarter glass windows are all made up of Lexan to prevent damage from rock chips, and the sturdy material minimizes damage from road accidents


Lexan Glass Summary Conclusion

The properties of LEXAN glass make it an indispensable material in fields requiring a balance of safety, performance, and aesthetic appeal. Its wide range of beneficial attributes allows designers and engineers to meet challenging specifications while pushing the boundaries of innovation in product development. As technologies evolve and environmental considerations become increasingly important, LEXAN™ continues to be a material of choice for forward-thinking industries worldwide.

If you’re ready to get Lexan glass or windshield replacement in Alberta, BC or Saskatchewan consider us at Crystal Glass.

We have been serving clients in Canada for over seven decades and have specialized in residential and commercial glass repair, along with auto glass repair and services.

Contact us today to connect and get a quote from a professional.