Lexan Material: Optimal for Signs, Decals and Labels

Lexan is a common replacement for glass & Plexiglass, though it is known to be stronger and more resilient. Due its strength and similarities to glass, the material is frequently used in signage and industrial applications. Unlike glass, though, Lexan has a very difficult development process and is a highly complex material. Also unlike glass–many do not know what exactly Lexan is.

Lexan is a sheet of polycarbonate resin that is so strong it is shatterproof and virtually bulletproof. Technically, it is a plastic material though it is stronger and more durable than plastic as well as glass. It is made through a patented chemical process involving the reaction between Bisphenol A and carbonyl chloride. Although the material can technically be cut in many ways, it is only technically considered Lexan if the sheet lengths are cut between .75 mm and 12 mm.

This process was developed in the 1950s during research for a more durable plastic material. In fact, researchers at General Electric Plastics in America and at Bayer in Germany discovered the material around the same time. But, after a struggle, GE ended up with the patent and is still a primary developer and producer of Lexan.

Lexan is known for its shiny, acrylic appearance, which adds sleekness to its strength. It scratches similar to Plexiglass despite the many other differences between the materials. Lexan is bulletproof depending on the weapon used and the distance at which it’s shot. In fact, it is often used for bulletproof windows and armored vehicles.
So, at this point you might be wondering why a material used to bulletproof windows should be used on nameplates and decals. There are many reasons Lexan is good for labels, especially those with harsh industrial applications:

• It is more economical than metal
• It has excellent ink adhesion
• It has a variety of clear or textured surface
• It is resistant to solvents
• It has good clarity, stability, and die cutting characteristics

All of these qualities result in a long life, reliable durability, and attractive appearance. Plus, these labels and decals are subsurface printed between the Lexan & the adhesive so the image lasts long. If you’re interested in other durable materials for nameplates and decals, learn about why Mylar is an ideal material for tags.