UTV windshields are usually made from a special material called Lexan, and a few are made of acrylic. Regular windshields for cars are made from safety glass. Ask whether your UTV windshield is Lexan or acrylic when shopping, and do your research so you know the pros and cons of each.
Also known as sheet-grade polycarbonate, Lexan is quicker to scratch than acrylic, but it’s also much more resistant to impact — a must for many UTV riders. Both materials are tough, but Lexan is a little stronger — in fact, it’s 200 times stronger than glass. However, acrylic has more shine, and for riders who want their UTVs to be show-stoppers, that can be important. Acrylic is also more affordable than Lexan, but price shouldn’t be the deciding factor when your safety’s at stake. Acrylic can crack more easily than Lexan, but it’s still up to eight times stronger than regular glass.
The Lexan vs. Acrylic Battle
Lexan isn’t just used for UTV windshields. It’s also a favorite for racecar windows, window well coverings, computer screens (many Apple products use it) and bullet-proof glass. It’s the material you see on sheer visors for many athletic helmets and on glass guards for vending machines.
However, acrylic also has its uses. It’s commonly found in pet cages, aquariums and other enclosures. Acrylic is featured in hockey rinks and to make retail displays. Finally, it’s often the interior layer of linings for storm windows.
Why Not Just Use Regular Windshields?
Since your commuter vehicle keeps you safe during the daily grind and on highways where high-impact crashes can occur, you’d think regular windshields would be the better choice. Most of today’s vehicle windshields are created with laminated safety glass. It’s glass, but specially treated for added protection — and so the glass doesn’t shatter on impact. Lamination is why broken windshields end up in gummy crumbles instead of big, dangerous shards.
Typically, two panes of glass are used, and plastic laminate is sandwiched in the middle as a bonding agent. They are then secured into the frame. However, it’s interesting to note that most motorcycle windshields and visors are made from acrylic. Laminated glass is the best safeguard when it’s feasible that glass might collapse inward in a crash, which isn’t often the case in a UTV collision. With UTV windshields, it’s better to keep the glass in one solid piece rather than shattered, because this will keep riders protected as long as possible.
Never assume that any windshield your UTV comes with is made of the best materials. Upgrading to a better UTV windshield is one of the best ways to make your ride as safe as possible. Get in touch with UTV Windshield and Accessories today and start shopping for your new or upgraded windshield.