Are you stumped between choosing acrylic or plexiglass? Although similar in appearance, acrylic and plexiglass have differences that can affect the quality and cost of the end product.
When it comes to choosing a material for your next home project, there are a lot of options to choose from. Plexiglass and acrylic are two common types of glass, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we'll discuss acrylic vs. plexiglass and help you decide which one is right for you.
What is Plexiglass?
Plexiglass is a form of clear acrylic sheet. The name was initially assigned to one of the products manufactured using acrylic when it was first developed in the early 1900s.
While strong and durable at room temperature, plexiglass is susceptible to heat because it shares characteristics with acrylic. It is not suitable for safety applications because of its poor heat resistance. But because of its sturdiness, rigidity, low density, and comparatively low cost, Plexiglass is frequently used for windscreens and other large-scale glazing projects.
Due to its durability and stiffness, the plastic is also often used in big aquariums and swimming pools.
What is Acrylic?
The toughness, rigidity, and aesthetic brilliance of acrylic, also known as polymethyl methacrylate, make it a popular transparent thermoplastic homopolymer glass substitute. Since acrylic glass is impact-resistant, it is regarded as the best replacement for glass.
Other purposes for this substance include acrylic furniture, LCD panels, guard rails, optics, paints, and medical equipment.
Although glass is more easily accessible, recycled, and less expensive than acrylic, the latter wins the prize for its superior chemical, pressure, breakage, weathering, UV, impact resistance, and stability.
An American business named Rohm and Haas began producing polymethyl methacrylate (or acrylic) in 1930. It started officially marketing the substance in 1936. There are some harmful chemicals involved in the manufacturing process, but the finished item is, nevertheless, completely harmless.
Thanks to Clear Home Design, today, we can take advantage of this clear sparkling substance to customize various acrylic products such as an acrylic desk,acrylic bench, bathroom vanities, and even pet accessories. For the most durable furniture with impeccable optical clarity, get in with Clear Home Design today, and check out the stunning range.
Plexiglass vs. Acrylic: How Do They Differ?
It has long been debated whether to use acrylic or plexiglass.
Polymethyl methacrylate, frequently referred to as acrylic, is one of the most well-known premium substances used to produce Plexiglass. Because of this, acrylic began to be associated with the name "Plexiglass" over time, though the manufacturing process and functional qualities vary slightly, as we can see below.
|A type of acrylic, Plexiglass is a trademarked name.
Plexiglass is exclusively produced using a cell cast method.Plexiglass undergoes a demanding process that yields a high-quality product.
|Acrylic is a translucent thermoplastic
Acrylic is produced using either a continuously extruded method or a cell cast process.
Manufacturing acrylic sheets take less time and resources.
There are actually more similarities than contrasts between the plexiglass and acrylic sheets. Typically, since plexiglass items are made of acrylic, they will share a lot of characteristics, however plexiglass may be significantly more impact and scratch-resistant than acrylic or glass, based on its manufacturing process.
Usually, these two items' manufacturing processes are the primary distinction. Cell casting or extrusion is typically used to produce acrylic sheeting.
- Extrusion is the method used to create pressed sheets of material, such as aluminum, or extruded acrylic. To produce layers of acrylic, the material is gradually forced and pressed through a die.
- In contrast, the cell cast method entails spreading unreacted acrylic across two sheets of glass to form a cell.
Glass sheets are removed from acrylic once the process is finished, the acrylic has dried, and the final product is examined. Cell-cast acrylic often costs more but is generally of superior quality and durability due to the longer and more labor-intensive process.
There is just one method used to make plexiglass items: cell casting. As a result, if a Plexiglas product costs extra, it's not just because it’s branded product. You are generally paying for a more extensive manufacturing procedure which leads to a more robust product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Plexiglass vs. acrylic: what is the difference?
In plain English, Plexiglas® is formed of acrylic, and the phrase "plexiglass" is a general term used to refer to both the branded product and the substance proper.
Is acrylic less expensive than Plexiglass?
Acrylic and polycarbonate polymers are also sold under the brand names Lexan and Plexiglass. Acrylic is more affordable and simpler to make but can break under substantial impacts.
Unlike the extrusion method employed to produce acrylic sheets, the fabrication of Plexiglass uses the cell cast method, which is more complex. Since making Plexiglass is more demanding, acrylic is more affordable.
Do acrylic sheets have greater durability than Plexiglass?
Plexiglass is produced using a more complex manufacturing process than acrylic, which results in a longer-lasting product because it creates cells when acrylic reacts with glass panes. After this process, the glass is extracted, and the manufacturers inspect the quality of the acrylic.
Can you drill through Plexiglass?
Plexiglass may be drilled using standard meal drill bits. But some matters must be addressed to ensure you’re working safely with the substance. First, you must go easy on it and move slowly; otherwise, melting, cracking, and breaking may occur. Always wear safety gear such as gloves and eye protection, provide some kind of grip for the sheet, and take frequent pauses.
Is acrylic Plexiglass susceptible to fading over time?
It depends on the environment the plexiglass is used in. While american-produced acrylic tends to stay optically clear over the long term, other acrylics may eventually turn yellow if the area is persistently overheated in direct sunlight. In any case, regular upkeep, cleaning, and attention ensure the product stays lustrous over the long term.
Note that ammonia-based products typically used to clean glass can react with acrylic and plexiglass, giving them a cloudy appearance. It’s advised to use alternative cleaning products that do not contain ammonia.
So, when it comes to Plexiglass vs. acrylic, the decision of which one to go with is personal. Both materials are more similar than not, and it comes down to what you want in your final product. Acrylic is your best bet if you want a durable and long-lasting product that won't break easily.
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Give us a call today to discover the latest trends in functional, chic acrylic designs.