Acrylic did not see widespread commercial application until 1933 when German scientist Otto Rohm synthesized and patented his product called “Plexiglas.”
Acrylic goes under many names, including PMMA, Plexiglass, Lucite, Acrylic Glass, or Acrylite. It has many of the properties of glass but is exceptionally clear and lightweight. This transparent polymer is created when a chemical reaction occurs between a monomer and a catalyst.
As compared to a standard pane of window glass with equal thickness, acrylic is lighter by up to 50% with greater transparency. Acrylic transmits more light than glass, provides better heat insulation, and has higher impact strength. While the softer surface of acrylic is more prone to scratching than glass, it is possible to polish away blemishes. The scratched glass must be replaced.
Whether fabricated in a cast or extruded forms, acrylic is less expensive and more durable than glass. Sheets or tubes transform into endless shapes for numerous uses by way of cold-forming, line bending, oven heating, drape, free-blown, or vacuum forming.
Acrylic glass is among the oldest synthetic materials still in commercial production. Applications include windows, shields including those with bullet resistance, signage, furniture, aquariums, and picture frames.
Our acrylic materials are available in a broad range of standard and custom colors. Let Silk Road Trading Egypt Plastics be the center of your one-stop plastic for plexiglass related products.
What are the Characteristics of Acrylic?
Acrylic has a number of characteristics, which make it an ideal plastic to use. Consider the following benefits:
- Highly transparent
- Highly impact resistant
- Easy to clean and polish
- High durability
- Light and easy to transport
- More scratch resistant
Acrylic Materials & Forms
Acrylic comes in a wide variety of forms. At Silk Road Trading Egypt Plastics, we carry the following:
- Extruded Acrylic Sheets – Extruded acrylic is a less expensive form of PMMA. It highly impacts and UV resistant. Custom sizing available.
- Cast Acrylic Sheets – Cast acrylic sheets are more labor-intensive to create, making it a more expensive alternative to its extruded acrylic counterpart. It also has a greater range of thickness and outstanding resistance to outside elements, including sunlight and weather. Custom sizing available.
- Frame Grade Acrylic Sheets – Our frame grade acrylic sheets are inspected for quality to ensure high optical clarity for the picture framing industry. Custom sizing available.
- Acrylic Rods – Our acrylic rods do not bend easily and will not shrink, making them a great alternative to other materials. A wide range of sizes are available for purchase.
- Acrylic Tubes – Our acrylic tubes are durable and strong. Browse our wide range of diameters and sizes.
What is Acrylic Plastic Made of?
Many plastics, including acrylic plastic, use methyl methacrylate as their base molecule. This molecule has a double carbon bond, one of which is broken during polymerization. This allows the molecule to bond with another molecule to create a chain. This process continues until the polymer is created. Monomers such as methyl acrylate and acrylonitrile can also be combined with methyl methacrylate to produce different forms of PMMA.
What is the Difference Between Acrylic and Plastic?
Acrylic plastic represents a family of petroleum-based thermoplastics made from natural gas. It should be noted that acrylic is plastic; however, not all plastic is acrylic—plastic is a generic term for a large family of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials. Acrylic is also known as a polyacrylate and marketed under a few brand names with Plexiglas being the most well-known brand.
What is Acrylic Plastic Used For?
Acrylic plastic is a transparent plastic that resembles glass but offers better transparency and is 50% lighter than glass. It is commonly used inside of the point of purchase displays, signage, furniture, aquariums, picture frames, roof windows, and DIY projects.
Is Acrylic Plastic Expensive?
The price of acrylic plastic varies based on the kind of acrylic material you decide to purchase. For example, clear extruded acrylic is cheaper than cast acrylic. As an overall rule, acrylic plastic is more expensive than other kinds of lower-quality plastics. However, if you want a product that is long-lasting and durable, acrylic plastic is worth the investment.
Is Acrylic a Form of Plastic?
Yes, acrylic is a form of plastic. Acrylic is considered a polyacrylate, which is one of the most common types of plastic. This material is made from Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), Poly Methyl Methacrylate (PMMA), or a combination of both.
Brands We Carry
Silk Road Trading Egypt Plastics carries acrylic sheets from Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucite, Plaskolite Optix, Polycast, and Chemcast in a variety of sizes, including 80″ x 120″ boards & panels. Available options include P95, P99, OP3, bullet resistant, and paper masking. Please contact us if you have specific brand requirements.
Is Acrylic a Good Material?
Acrylic boasts many great characteristics, including strength and durability. It is a less expensive alternative to both glass and polycarbonate and can be used in a wide variety of functions. It is also easy to clean and is more scratch-resistant than polycarbonate.
Is Acrylic Better than Glass?
For many functions, acrylic or plexiglass is an ideal alternative to glass. It is stronger than glass, making it a better choice where security or durability are required. It is more transparent than glass, so it is perfect for retail displays and windows. Acrylic is also lighter than glass, making it easier to install or transport. Plexiglass is also more shatter-resistant and if it does break, will not form sharp shards. Although glass is a great material, acrylic outshines glass in many aspects.
Is Acrylic Cheaper than Glass?
Acrylic is a less expensive alternative to glass. However, this cost extends beyond the price of the materials. Since plexiglass is lighter than glass and more durable, acrylic is easier to transport and less likely to break. These additional benefits could result in additional savings for your business or home.