Plexiglass vs Acrylic
Plexiglass Vs. Acrylic is a question around for a long time. Many people ask me the difference between Plexiglass and acrylic, and I give the same answer to everyone that they’re almost the same and have no major differences (except for a few). Acrylic is a common abbreviation used for polymethyl methacrylate, and Plexiglass is one of the popular brand names for this plastic. Over time the brand name “plexiglass” has become a generic name for acrylic.
There are notable differences between the two. So, without further ado, let’s understand what makes both of them different and similar.
What is Acrylic?
Acrylic or (Polymethyl methacrylate is a thermoplastic material known for its outstanding strength, rigidity, and optical clarity. It is considered a prime alternative for glass, thanks to its high impact resistance. It is also used in various other applications, such as medical devices, lenses, paints, security barriers, LCD screens, and furniture.
While glass is easily available, easily recyclable, and inexpensive compared to acrylic, acrylic steals the show for impact resistance, shatter resistance, weathering resistance, UV resistance, chemical resistance to all solvents, and excellent dimensional stability.
Polymethyl methacrylate or acrylic production first started back in 1930 and was officially marketed in 1936 by a company American named Rohm and Haas. The basic material used for making acrylic was hydrogen cyanide, sulphuric acid, methanol, and acetone. All the substances are not exactly safe. However, the end product is completely harmless.
Interesting Read – Plastics Vs. Polymers | What are the Differences?
What is Plexiglass?
Plexiglass is a type of clear acrylic sheet. It is a generic term synonymous with acrylic and also refers to a few different products made under different names, including the original trademarked name, Plexiglas. The original version of acrylic created in the 1930s was branded as Plexiglas.
Coming back to Plexiglass (with to “ss”), has all the similar properties as acrylic and that aslo makes it weak towards heat. Weak heat resistance means it can not be used in safety applications. Thanks to lightweight, strength, rigidity, and relatively low price plexiglass are often utilized for glazing large surfaces, like noise and windscreens. The plastic’s strength and rigidity also make it a go-to choice in large-sized aquariums and pools.
What are the Differences Between Acrylic vs Plexiglass?
There are certainly very few differences between plexiglass, Plexiglas, and acrylic, but there are many similarities to be found. as I mentioned earlier, they both are the same products with different names under different circumstances. The only major difference between acrylic and plexiglass is the manufacturing process. They are manufactured using two methods extrusion or cast cell.
Extruded acrylic is produced using the extrusion method where acrylic is continuously extruded to create sheets. On the other side, the casting cell process involves feeding unreacted acrylic between two panes of glass, making a cell. Once, the reaction is completed and acrylic is cured, the sheets are removed for further inspections. The cell-casting process is high on labor and equipment cost, making cell-cast acrylic (plexiglass) more expensive, but comes with higher quality, durability, and rigidity compared to the acrylic produced by the extrusion method.
You might be paying more for a Plexiglass product, but it’s completely worth it as it comes loaded with more beneficial properties, something which went through a significantly more expensive process and suits your needs.
Plexiglass vs acrylic that only, same material with some differences in properties and the manufacturing method.
1. Is there a cheaper alternative to Plexiglass roofing?
Ans. Plexiglass roofing is expensive but comes with substantial benefits difficult to overlook, however, if you’re still looking for an inexpensive option then you should cover your roof with flexible greenhouse plastic film. It will last under the sun for a good amount of time and it’s the cheapest way for someone to cover their roofs.
2. Can you drill Plexiglass?
Ans. It is possible to drill Plexiglass with regular meal drill bits, however, there are certain things that need to be taken care of. First of all, you need to go soft and take a breather once in a while, you can’t be hard at it like metal or there can be casualties like melting, chipping, and breaking. Stop often to cool the drill and always give some form of support to the sheet.
3. What are some advantages of Plexiglass?
Ans. The disadvnatges of Plexiglass are as follows:-
- Lighter, but stronger
- Easy to maintain
- Easxy to process and shape
- Oustanding shatter resistance
- Good erosion resistance
4. What are some disadvantages of Plexiglass?
Ans. The disadvanatges of Plexiglassare as follows:-
- It scatches more often than glass.
- Distortion. Easily bend during construction.
- Easily stained by oils and greases. However, cleaning it is also very easy.
- Weak matter resisatnce.
5. What is the melting point of acrylic plastic?
Ans. 160°C (320°F).
Final Thoughts –
That was all I had to say about Plexiglass vs acrylic. As I tried to expain, the only major differnce between them is the manufacturing process and apart from that they are virtually same having more similarities than differernces.
There are certain subtle differences in thier properties so choose wisely for best prodcution results and happy customers.
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Have a phenomenal day 🙂