Lexan Polycarbonate Plastic Fabrication

Lexan polycarbonate sheets - Fabshapes

Lexan polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic polymer material which is known for providing superior strength and durability in a wide array of applications, from protective “glass” systems to various window systems. 

If you’re considering various plastic products and want to learn more about Lexan polycarbonate in order to make an informed decision, here’s a rundown of the benefits, applications, and common fabrication methods. 

Benefits of Lexan polycarbonate

The most notable benefit of Lexan polycarbonate is its strength. It is actually more than 200 times more impact resistant than glass, and more impact resistant than other types of plastic like acrylic. Since it’s a bit flexible, it’s able to effectively distribute the energy so that it doesn’t all gather in one spot and break the material apart. In these instances, the sheet or pane is likely to stay intact.  Lexan Lexan polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable. 

In addition, Lexan polycarbonate offers visual clarity, with several options available for high-quality optics. It’s also lightweight, making it very easy to fabricate, transport, and install. And since it is a thermoplastic, it can be formed into various shapes, which makes it a practical and versatile solution for a variety of industries.

Common applications

Because of the superior strength of Lexan polycarbonate, it’s commonly used in protective systems where impact resistance is needed. This can include things like protective countertop systems at banks, convenience stores, and government facilities. It can also be used in windows and doors at places that want extra protection, including schools, churches, and storm shelters. In addition, it can provide a similar protective benefit to the transportation industry, making it perfect for use in everything from heavy equipment to military vehicles and armored cars. 

In industrial settings, Lexan polycarbonate is a great solution for machine guards, especially in areas with a lot of moving equipment. It also provides electrical insulation, so it  has plenty of potential applications in the energy field or any setting where electrical equipment may need protection.

Methods and Processes

Now that you know what Lexan polycarbonate can be used for and why it is such a popular material, it’s time to learn about all of the fabrication and production methods used to shape it into these various objects.

The main methods for bending and shaping Lexan polycarbonate include thermoforming, heat bending and cold forming. Thermoforming, the most common method, is a process where a sheet of plastic is heated, then formed to a specific shape of a mold. Thermoforming allows Lexan polycarbonate to be formed into a wide variety of complex shapes. Heat bending involves applying high temperatures to the material so that it can be easily bent and manipulated into basic shapes. There’s also cold forming, which can be done at room temperature. This process just involves creating a slight arc in the material, but it’s not able to create as many different shapes and customizations without the added heat. 

You can also cut polycarbonate sheets to custom sizes. This can help you create straight cuts in order to form sheets that fit your exact size needs. However, you can also use routing to cut polycarbonate into specific shapes or designs. Then there are additional customization methods like gluing, bonding, and general assembly. These are useful for those that need to work with multiple pieces of polycarbonate or other plastic materials that need to be joined together for use in a single application. 
If you want to reap all of the strength and durability benefits of Lexan polycarbonate or explore other plastic fabrication options, Fabshapes can help. In addition to polycarbonate, we offer a huge variety of plastic materials like acrylic, PVC, nylon, and ABS. And they can all be customized to suit your specific needs using state of the art equipment like CNC machines, polishers, and heat stamps. Additionally, our Dayton fabrication center is ISO 9001 certified and ITAR compliant, so you can feel confident about the quality of products and services we provide. Whether you need plastics for construction, machining, energy, automotive, or retail, visit our website to request a free quote and a member of our customer service team will get back to you within 24 hours.