How Does Acrylic Differ from Polycarbonate?

Plastic fabricators in Sydney and other places will often produce various objects from acrylic. In terms of weight, acrylic is much lighter than glass. However, this trait does not affect its solidity and strength by any means. In addition, the thicker the sheet of glass, the lower will be its clarity. In many cases, thick sheets of glass will often exhibit a greenish hue. In contrast, even if you were to pick the thickest sheet of acrylic, its crystal-clear clarity would leave you feeling amazed.


Lastly, glass is not as strong as acrylic. When a heavy object hits the glass, the result will usually not be much of a surprise. However, if the same object were to strike a sheet of acrylic, it would probably cause no damage to the acrylic. These traits make acrylic a wonder material for those working in the fabrication sector.


If you were to look for plastic that is also transparent, you might only have acrylic on your mind. But, you would do well to remember that an alternative exists. People often compare polycarbonate sheets to acrylic sheets because both are see-through varieties of plastics. Both materials weigh less than half of the weight of a comparably sized piece of glass. Despite this, both acrylic and polycarbonate offer higher levels of solidity than glass. Both materials are easy to clean too.


Acrylic will always appear to be shinier than polycarbonate. It is also easier to cut. In terms of affordability, acrylic is relatively cheaper as well. Workers can polish acrylic to a smooth finish. In addition, acrylic offers a high level of impact resistance. Experts opine that acrylic can offer 17 times the impact resistance that glass does. CNC laser cutting companies typically use acrylic sheets for making:


  • Fish tanks
  • Aquariums
  • Terrariums
  • Motorcycle helmet visors
  • Swimming pool windows
  • Retail product displays and stands
  • The interior layers of storm window linings and,
  • Various museum enclosures


Polycarbonate sheets are much stronger than their acrylic counterparts. This is one of the reasons why they cost almost 35 percent more than acrylic sheets. Estimates suggest that polycarbonate sheets offer 250 times the impact resistance of glass. They are less rigid than acrylic sheets are. As such, it is easy to purchase polycarbonate sheets in flexible grades. Unlike acrylic sheets, polycarbonate sheets can handle extremely high temperatures with minimal fuss. They are also highly resistant to acids and other chemicals.


Plastic fabricators can bend polycarbonate sheets without having to heat them first. They can also drill polycarbonate sheets without fearing that the sheets will crack easily. In some cases, this fear is legitimate when it comes to drilling acrylic sheets. This is because acrylic sheets can crack quite easily. Polycarbonate sheets also feature low levels of flammability. Despite these merits, polycarbonate has some drawbacks too. For instance, you cannot polish polycarbonate. Polycarbonates tend to scratch and dent easily. In addition, polycarbonates offer low levels of resistance to abrasive cleaners. The use of polycarbonates is quite popular for producing:


  • Reusable drinking bottles
  • Computers
  • Transparent visors for hockey and football players
  • Racing car windows
  • Compact discs and DVDs
  • Bullet-proof glass
  • Riot shields and visors and,
  • Lighting lenses, eyeglass lenses & safety glasses

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