The Acrylic Plastic AdvantageBradford Blecker
Acrylic plastic is a common building material that is often referred to as Plexiglass. This synthetic polymer is a versatile material with distinct advantages typically as a glass replacement. Acrylic plastics are used in a variety of different applications across industries including point-of-purchase displays, covid shields, windows, signage, furniture, aquariums, etc.
- Easy to Fabricate
- Easy to Shape/Cut
- Lighter than Glass
- Stronger than Glass
- Highly Transparent
- Easy to Clean
- Easy to Maintain
Easy to Fabricate and Shape/Cut
When acrylic plastic is heated it becomes malleable and can be molded into many shapes. As it cools down, it holds its formed shape, allowing it to be machined, drilled, or sawed just like wood. When it is being shaped, molds made from wood or plastic can be used, which is very cost-effective for manufacturers. Because it is a thermoplastic and softens under high temperatures, acrylic can be formed into virtually any shape.
50% Lighter than Glass
One of the main advantages of using acrylic instead of glass is that it’s more durable and also weighs 50% less than glass. Acrylic is less expensive while remaining 10 times more impact-resistant than glass. Due to its incredible durability, acrylic can be used over a wide range of temperatures and has superior weather resistance. Under high impact, it will not shatter and if it does break, it fractures into large, dull-edged pieces.
Acrylic plastic remains transparent as it gets older without excessive yellowing. This is very important for applications that are exposed to constant sunlight. Acrylic is more fade-resistant than other plastics. Acrylic plastic’s light transmittance is equal to glass while providing the same aesthetic appearance for a more reliable, long-term result.
Easy to Maintain
While there are some guidelines regarding care and cleaning, acrylic is overall an easy material to maintain. When cleaning acrylic that has slight blemishes and dirt it is recommended to use a wet microfiber cloth and blot the material. Additionally, it’s important to ensure particles and grit are completely removed from your cleaning cloth, as accidentally rubbing rough dirt or unwanted particles can cause acrylic to further scratch. The gentler you are when cleaning acrylic, the better. Avoid using rough paper towels because they will not remove scratches and may accidentally cause them. Also avoid ammonia-based products like Windex or other home glass cleaners, because they contain harmful chemicals that will damage the surface leaving it looking cloudy. When cleaning and maintaining acrylic the easiest and safest measure is to use soapy water. These products will keep your acrylic plastic-looking polished and new with minimal effort.