Acrylic sheets are among the most popular and widely-used types of plastic. They are made from poly(methyl methacrylate), a transparent thermoplastic. Acrylic sheets are sold under multiple trade names and brands, including Plexiglas, Crylux, Lucite, Perclax, Perspex, Acrylite, and many others. Being produced by so many different manufacturers suggests that this material is widely appreciated, thoroughly tested, and able to provide a range of benefits:
Acrylic sheets remain transparent with very little yellow tinting as they get older. This is why acrylic is used for applications exposed to sunlight. If glass lets around 90% of visible light through, acrylic plastic has a light transmission rate of around 92%! Acrylic is a better option for glazing and windows. Acrylic is superior to glass in terms of light transmittance and aesthetic appearance. For this reason, it is being used for plexiglass windows, computer screens, eyeglasses, automotive screens, plane windows, etc. Acrylic is resistant to UV light, and can be added coatings for extra protection and durability.
Easy to maintain
In spite of the few rules surrounding acrylic care and cleaning, this material is relatively simple to maintain. Soapy water and soft microfiber cloths are recommended for cleaning acrylic surfaces. Avoid rough paper towels and ammoniabased products as they can damage and blemish acrylic sheets. Acrylic can be cleaned very often without damaging its appearance, which makes it suitable for food sneeze guards in cafeterias, self-serve food bars, and grocery takeout displays.
If acrylic scratches, it can be restored using grit sandpaper of increasingly higher ranges until the defect disappears. Unlike polycarbonate, acrylic with little scratch marks can be repaired and look as good as new.
50% lighter than glass
Weighing 50% less than glass is one of the greatest advantages of acrylic. This makes it easier to transport and install while also reducing all costs associated with its manufacturing and distribution.
High impact resistant
Regardless of its shape, acrylic is +10 times more impact-resistant than glass. Under high impact it fractures into large, dull-edged pieces, which are less likely to cause serious injury. This makes acrylic suitable for safety feature application such as
protection screens, ball field enclosures, sliding doors, shower doors, and windows. Glass, on the other hand, is brittle, heavy, and more difficult to transport and install. If grass breaks, it can cause serious injuries. Acrylic began to be used for various applications during World War II for its obviously better safety records.
Easy to manufacture
Acrylic is a thermoplastic, which means it can be moulded into different shapes. After cooling down, this amazing material holds its formed shape and can be machined, drilled, or sawed in a manner similar to wood. Acrylic can be formed into virtually any shape, such as sheets, tubes, bottles, figurines, and picture frames.
Acrylic is resistant to different chemicals (but avoid ammonia), which makes it suitable for the manufacture of medical manifolds and devices. There are two types of acrylics: extruded and cast. The latter is the harder of the two,
and is more resistant to chemicals and scratch due to the way it is manufactured.
Acrylic is not the easiest plastic to recycle, but repurposing waste acrylic is possible using special equipment. Some of the applications of scrap acrylic are signs and displays, car light covers, optical lenses, shelving, aquarium windows, and many
others. Compared to wood, acrylic is often seen as a superior alternative. Wood can be scarce in certain parts of the world, cutting it down is bad for the environment, and waste is often used for fire.
Different finishes and colours
Acrylic sheets are available in clear and in a variety of tints and colours. Moreover, it can be mirrored or opaque and it can be coated to ensure supplementary characteristics, like solar reflectivity, glare reduction, anti-fogging, and scratch
Wide range of working temperature
Acrylic sheets and other acrylic items can be used in a range of temperatures, from – 24ºC to 93ºC. Temperature should not exceed 71ºC for continuous service or 88ºC for short intermittent use.
Can be joined
Anyone can join acrylic sheets at home using two methods: capillary cementing and viscous cementing. Surfaces should be clean, smooth, and flat before joining, and 24 hours should be allowed for bond strength to develop.
Acrylic sheets are the best option for a variety of applications. They come in different sizes, thicknesses, and finishes, while providing the excellent general properties of acrylic – impact resistance, transparency, and light weight. If you’re looking for custom plastic fabrication you may consider Plastics Online, provides plastic fabrication and a full range of cut to size plastics. Order online and they deliver from their Gold Coast facility to any location in Australia.