Acrylic makes a useful choice for a wide range of applications and a great alternative to the high cost and less resilient glass. This material is shatter resistant and tough and was even used on gun turrets, canopies and periscopes during World War II. Practical uses today include display stands, helmet visors, forklift guards and large aquarium tanks.
Here are a few of the benefits of acrylic plastic:
Easily shaped and fabricate
Acrylic is a material that is easily shaped or molded into a figurine, picture frame, tube or bottle. The acrylic is easily pliable on reaching a temperature in the region of 100 degrees. Even when the material starts to cool it is able to maintain its desired shape. A benefit of this is the ability to work on large projects such as skylights and bow-front aquariums. Plus, it can be sawed, drilled or machined much like soft metals and wood. A cost-effective way to shape the acrylic is to use molds in plastic or wood.
The tough nature of acrylic means it is a useful choice for lenses on car headlights and home windows. Outdoor signs made with this material have the ability to maintain its look and color for the long-term. Also, the acrylic-based paint is not impacted by light, and easily able to maintain its color. Any wall or hanging signs are hard-wearing and have great light-refracting and weather-resistance properties.
Acrylic is a lightweight material and nearly 50% less than products manufactured in glass. Plus, it is really easy to handle. The popularity of acrylic skylights is mostly related to its weight and not putting much load on the home’s frame or foundation.
This material is designed with high impact resistance that is nearly 17 times more efficient than regular glass. The tensile strength is up to 8,000 lbs per square inch. In the event of impact damage, the acrylic does not shatter into small pieces. If damaged, the acrylic will instead fracture into dull-edged and large pieces. This safety aspect is appreciated for security barriers, sliding glass doors, bath enclosures and shower doors. Plus, it is even used at hockey rinks for the safety enclosures.
Acrylic is clear and see-through and will not start to yellow or discolor over time. This makes it a very attractive choice for storefront windows, skylights and greenhouses. Plus, it is a material that is resistant to UV light.