Acrylic vs. Plastic - What Are The Differences?
Date created: November 25, 2016
Acrylic is used in a number of applications as a replacement for glass. Here we have discussed the fundamental differences between acrylic and glass materials.
Nowadays, acrylic or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is gradually replacing glass as a tougher and more durable material in many applications. Although both of them are transparent, there are some major differences between the two which make acrylic a better choice than glass.
Those differences have been discussed below in detail:
In general, PMMA allows transmission of around 92 percent of light through it. In the case of mineral glass, on the other hand, the percentage of transmitted light never goes beyond 80 to 90. Glass appears relatively milky compared to PMMA when exposed to visible light, thus offering less clear views.
Acrylic has a very high thermal conductivity of about 0.19 W/mk, which means that it is immune to condensation & prevents heat loss, and therefore, suitable for underwater usage. However, glass, even when double glazed, is unsuitable for use under the water.
Most popular brands of acrylic, such as Acrylic and Plexiglass come with a warranty of around 30 years against yellowing. But safety glass, that consists of mineral glazing in multiple layers, yellows over time when exposed to sunlight in applications like pool glazing.
Acrylic has a very low density that often ranges from 1150 to 1190 kg/m3, which is around half the preferred thickness of glass (2400-2800 kg/m3). Thus, assembling and transportation of acrylic items is relatively less expensive and easier.
The impact strength of anything made out of PMMA is significantly greater than something similar fabricated using glass. This quality of acrylic makes it ideal for use in a variety of applications such as transparent bulletproof surfaces, submarine windows, etc.
Although glass is cheaper than acrylic, the overall costs of the latter, including maintenance, is lesser than that of the former. For instance, a large acrylic display would serve for many years with little but proper upkeep. But the same display, if made of glass, runs the risk of suffering minor to major damages, which can necessitate expensive repairs.
Thus, as is evident from the above mentioned points, acrylic is a more reliable, long-lasting and effective investment compared to glass.
Absolute Plastic Fabrications is an acrylic fabrication business that provides bespoke plastic fabricated solutions to individual clients and companies in Sydney. We can extend our services to interstate customers as well.
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