For the uninitiated, acrylic refers to a clear plastic material that bears a remarkably close semblance to glass. But, certain properties make this material far superior to glass. Acrylic is several times stronger than glass. Perspex cutting companies in Sydney and other places claim that acrylic is much safer than glass because acrylic is impact-resistant. So, if you drop a brick from a height onto an acrylic shower door, in all probability, the door will not break. Similarly, if you throw a cricket ball at a glass window, the glass will inevitably shatter. However, in the case of an acrylic window, the ball will simply bounce off the window.
Windows play an important role in keeping homes energy efficient. Not surprisingly, homeowners throughout the country are replacing their dated windows with acrylic ones. This is not merely because acrylic is an impact-resistant material. It is also because acrylic offers superior levels of insulation as opposed to glass. With acrylic windows, you could save quite a bit of money on your heating bills.
Besides this, workers find it easier to work with acrylic as opposed to glass. This is because acrylic is usually only half as heavy as glass. But, despite being lightweight, acrylic can carry heavier objects, unlike glass. Similarly, in terms of clarity, acrylic is one of the clearest materials in the world. It has a transparency rate of about 93 percent. It is worth highlighting that very thick sheets of glass will feature a greenish tint. In contrast, acrylic will continue to remain clear. Some of the most popular brands of high-end acrylic are Plexiglass, Lucite and Polycast.
There are three kinds of acrylic sheets. These comprise:
- Cell Cast Acrylic Sheets: These sheets feature the least amount of expansion and contraction. Produced by pouring melted liquid Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) resin between two plates of glass, these sheets come in an assortment of colours. They offer the highest margins of error in terms of their thickness tolerance. Workers typically use CNC routing and machining equipment for cutting or routing these sheets to produce signage, aquariums etc.
- Continuous Cast Acrylic Sheets: Workers produce these acrylic sheets by pouring melted liquid PMMA resin between two belts of polished stainless steel. These sheets are popular because they offer the best levels of consistency. They also feature the least amount of contraction and expansion. These sheets offer thickness tolerance levels that are second to the tolerance levels offered by cell cast acrylic sheets. But, they come in an assortment of sizes, which makes them ideal for forming and fabrication purposes.
- Extruded Acrylic Sheets: To produce extruded acrylic sheets, workers push semi-soft melted resin between rollers and then, cut these sheets to size. These sheets offer thickness tolerance levels of +/- 10 percent. Extruded acrylic sheets are the softest of all acrylic sheets. This makes it gum up router machines more during the cutting process. In addition, these sheets demonstrate the most contraction and expansion. However, glueing these sheets is easy. These sheets come into use for producing display material and replacement windows.