Glass is an amorphous material, a "frozen" liquid, and thus much more easily shattered than a thermoplastic such as plexiglass, which is softer than glass. One problem with plexiglass is that it is subject to crack formation when it is brought into contact with common solvents.
Acrylic vs. Glass: Which is Better? A lot of projects are using decorative acrylic in the place of decorative glass and for some very good reasons. But, is acrylic always the better choice? Acrylic does have its place along with a wealth of pros. But it does come with its cons.
Lexan is the happy medium between acrylic and glass applications. It is stronger than those two materials, and can be used in applications where glass or acrylic will not suffice. Some people consider plexiglass to replace a broken glass window.
Plexiglass, in its most advanced form, provides all of the benefits that museum glass once cornered the market on. With an anti-reflective surface that filters 50-75% of UV rays, it is anti-static and scratch resistant, and is a sound alternative.
Acrylic and Plexiglass are often used interchangeably in product literature concerning sheet plastic. While Plexiglass is made from acrylic, there are subtle differences, which can be important depending on the application.
Acrylic does not need to be as thick to support the same water volume as glass does, and any acrylic tank can be drilled to accommodate an overflow system. Refraction of Light Glass has a different index of refraction than water.
Lexan is a tough polycarbonate resin thermoplastic used in a wide range of applications, such as in high performance windshields, car headlights, eyeglass lenses, bullet proof "glass" and in panels used to construct greenhouses.
Plexiglass and tempered glass, both strong and transparent, have uses that are similar in nature. While distinctly different, both types of glass resist fractures, cracks, and splintering caused by stress or impact.
Plexiglass itself was created before the registered name of Plexiglas® came about, however, the name plexiglass did not appear until years after Plexiglas® dominated the glass and plastics industries. Plexiglas® vs. Other Acrylic Sheeting
My family entered plastics distribution and fabrication in 1968. Dad listened to the guy in "The Graduate" and bought in. I was a teen with access to a shop filled with Plexiglas® Acrylic sheets, Lexan®, Plastic Sheets & Fiberglass sheet.