An Overview of Acrylic and its Varieties

Acrylic refers to products that contain a substance derived from acrylic acid or a related compound. In many cases, it refers to a clear, glass-like plastic that goes by the name of Poly Methyl Meth Acrylate (PMMA) or acrylic glass. Acrylic and plastic displays are quite popular all over Australia. The fact that it looks like glass, but is much tougher makes it an ideal choice for several products that business establishments might otherwise use glass for.


For the uninitiated, acrylic comes in two varieties. These comprise:


  • Extruded Acrylic: To make this variety of acrylic, workers need to push liquid plastic through rollers. The rollers then serve to press this plastic into sheets as the plastic cools. Many acrylic manufacturing companies use this process because it is inexpensive. But, the sheets of extruded acrylic that emerge will be softer than cast acrylic sheets. In addition, they might contain impurities too. More importantly, they will scratch easily as well. Despite this, many companies continue to use extruded acrylic for manufacturing products even today.
  • Cell Cast Acrylic: This form of acrylic is of a much better quality than its extruded counterpart. But, it costs significantly more as well. To produce this acrylic, workers make single sheets of acrylic by pressing the liquid plastic between pieces of a mould. Oftentimes, these workers will use a mould made of glass. Thereafter, the workers will take these single sheets through a process of gradual heating. The resulting sheet will invariably offer much higher levels of strength than extruded acrylic. As a result, people will use it for more robust applications as well such as aquariums, awards and other products.

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