Plexiglass Vs Acrylic | A Comprehensive Comparison

Hello everybody, Today I’m going to shed some light on a long-going confusion among plastic enthusiasts about the difference between plexiglass and acrylic. Is plexiglass acrylic? Or Is the acrylic the same as plexiglass? These questions are thrown around almost constantly. So without further ado, let’s get going.

Plexiglass vs Acrylic

Plexiglass Vs. Acrylic has been 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 they’re almost the same and have no major differences (except for a few).

The main difference between plexiglass and acrylic is that there is absolutely no difference between the two. Acrylic is the most common abbreviation for polymethyl methacrylate, and Plexiglass is one of the popular brand names for the same plastic. As time passed, the name “Plexiglass” became synonymous with acrylic. 

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 started in 1930 and was officially marketed in 1936 by an American company 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 Plexiglas.

Coming back to Plexiglass (with “ss”) has similar properties as acrylic, making it weak to heat. Weak heat resistance means it can not be used in safety applications. Thanks to its lightweight, strength, rigidity, and relatively low price, plexiglass is often utilized for glazing large surfaces like noise and windscreens. The plastic’s strength and rigidity 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 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 the acrylic is cured, the sheets are removed for further inspection. The cell-casting process is high in labor and equipment costs, making cell-cast acrylic (plexiglass) more expensive, but it 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 is only the same material with some differences in properties and manufacturing methods.

Fascinating Read – LDPE Vs HDPE: What are the Differences and Similarities


Below are the frequently asked questions about acrylic vs plexiglass. Let’s dig deep to know more.

Is there a cheaper alternative to Plexiglass roofing?

Plexiglass roofing is expensive but comes with substantial benefits that are 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.

Can you drill Plexiglass?

It is possible to drill Plexiglass with regular meal drill bits. However, certain things 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.

What are some advantages of Plexiglass?

The disadvantages of Plexiglass are as follows:-

  • Lighter, but stronger
  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy to process and shape
  • Oustanding shatter resistance
  • Durability
  • Good erosion resistance

What are some disadvantages of Plexiglass?

The disadvantages 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 resistance.

What is the melting point of acrylic plastic?

160°C (320°F).

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Final Thoughts 

That was all I had to say about Plexiglass vs acrylic. As I tried to explain, the only major difference between them is the manufacturing process, and apart from that, they are virtually the same, having more similarities than differences.

There are certain subtle differences in their properties, so choose wisely for the best production results and happy customers.

Kindly share your thoughts and reviews about the article in the comment box.

Have a phenomenal day.

1 thought on “Plexiglass Vs Acrylic | A Comprehensive Comparison”

  1. I have to replace 2 glass panels on either side of my front door. The front gets very hot (Houston, TX) and sometimes very cold. 6.5’ high, 16” wide. Which one should I get?


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