Lexan is not glass, but a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic. It is strong, transparent, temperature-resistant and easily formed, so is commonly used in place of glass.
Lexan is available in solid sheets, as thin film and as an unformed resin.
Lexan can withstand boiling as well as temperatures to -40 degrees, making it useful for kitchenware and electrical appliances. It is also highly impact-resistant, making it useful in safety glass and auto/aeronautic uses. It transmits light comparably to plain glass.
Lexan is an amorphous solid, meaning it does not have the crystalline structure that most solids have, including salt, metal, diamonds and ice. Amorphous solids are rare and include glass and wax.
Lexan is manufactured by SABIC Innovative Plastics, headquartered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. All providers of Lexan other than SABIC, such as Piedmont Plastics, are authorized distributors.
Lexan was developed independently in 1953 by engineers at General Electric and the Bayer Company. Because the patent rights were debatable, the companies cross-licensed manufacture.
About the Author
Dan Antony began his career in the sciences (biotech and materials science) before moving on to business and technology, including a stint as the international marketing manager of an ERP provider. His writing experience includes books on project management, engineering and construction, and the "Internet of Things."