acrylic vs polycarbonate

When it comes to producing polycarbonate sheets, however, the extrusion manufacturing process is most commonly utilized. In particular, “Plexiglas” is used almost interchangeably with “acrylic plastic.” While each trademark product may have slightly different characteristics, they each form an acrylic plastic. Most consumers do not understand the difference between these two types. However, there are a variety of ways that polycarbonate and acrylic can be formed, especially when creating plastic sheets with special qualities such as color, non-glare, anti-static, UV-filtering, and more. Greater resistance than polycarbonate against scratching. While they are often considered to be similar in materials and applications, they can be used for different things and have different benefits. Acrylic is often compared to polycarbonate, another transparent polymer sometimes used for bearing loads. The polycarbonate and acrylic both are available in different colors. Their drawbacks are: acrylic can crack/shatter under impact and polycarbonate is easier to scratch. Thinner acrylic sheets can be cured in 10 to 12 hours, but thicker sheets may require several days of cure time. Strength: The polycarbonate is stronger than the acrylic. Uses of Perspex® Acrylic Sheet vs Polycarbonate Sheet. Each sheet is made differently and with different materials, hence the difference in characteristics and price. Polycarbonate’s optical clarity makes it ideal for applications such as machine guards, signs, face shields, skylights, POP displays. Using a process known as bulk polymerization, the monomer (methyl methacrylate) and the catalyst (typically organic peroxide) are poured into a mold, which is sealed and heated to produce the reaction that forms the acrylic plastic polymer. Acrylic vs. Polycarbonate Backboards. Heat deflection temperature @ 66 psi/264 psi, Maximum continuous service temperature in air, Light transmittance (transparency/clarity). *Double-15° notch. As a result, polycarbonate and acrylic look, feel and act differently due to the specific kinds of molecules they’re made up of and how they’re put together. It has superior weathering properties compared to many other transparent plastics. Difference Between Acrylic (Plexiglass) vs Polycarbonate (Lexan) Glass. Here are the different types of polycarbonate and acrylic sheeting available: Polycarbonate and acrylic share many of the same types of plastic sheeting options like clear, colored, mirrored, and more. Acrylic is a transparent plastic material with outstanding strength, stiffness, and optical clarity. First off, it is important to note that both acrylic and polycarbonate backboards share quite a lot of similarities. Polycarbonate offers five times the impact resistance of acrylic, which is the primary reason polycarbonate is chosen over acrylic for construction. When it comes to clear backboards, two types you will commonly see are acrylic and polycarbonate. Similar in appearance and the most frequently used transparent plastic materials on the market, it’s easy to see why these two are compared to one another. However, the selection of either acrylic or polycarbonate depends more significantly on the application. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. Gluing with cements designed for acrylic and polycarbonate, acrylic gives a cleaner glue joint than polycarbonate. The key difference between polycarbonate and acrylic is that polycarbonate is nearly unbreakable, whereas acrylic can be breakable if a higher force is applied. Acrylic VS Polycarbonate. Another popular brand name for Polycarbonate is Makrolon®, owned by Bayer. Without getting too bogged down by the technical details, polycarbonate is produced by the reaction between bisphenol A and phosgene COCl2. Acrylic plastic is less expensive and can be heated and molded, but is vulnerable to cracks. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are easy to clean. Acrylic vs. Polycarbonate Before deciding whether acrylic or polycarbonate best suits your machining needs, it is important to understand the differences between the two plastics materials. Sign in to access your web account. As you might imagine, Polycarbonate is more expensive than Acrylic. Acrylic, a more rigid thermoplastic, is limited to bending 180-200 times its thickness. The obvious place to start is the chemical structures and raw materials that make up these incredible plastics. Because of these two qualities acrylic is … Polycarbonate is sometimes called Lexan (trademarked name by GE Plastics) or Makrolon. Although both acrylic and polycarbonate can obtain scratches and yellowing from exposure to the sun, it is important to remember that only acrylic can be treated for these types of damage. The melted polycarbonate material is then forced through a die that is shaped to produce flat sheets of various lengths, widths, and thicknesses with uniform cross-sections. Acrylic vs Polycarbonate Addicted To Property 7 December 2018. Acrylic vs. Polycarbonate Backboards. Cleaning. A Quantitative and Qualitative Comparison. Contact us today and we will be happy to help you. Don’t misunderstand my preference for acrylic. Solve application challenges, find answers to material questions, and get valuable technical advice. Light & Clarity. What Are the Similarities Between a Polycarbonate Vs Acrylic Basketball Backboards. How to choose between acrylic and polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is yet another type of thermoplastic polymer used in manufacturing. High level of impact resistance (17 times the impact resistance of glass) Greater resistance than polycarbonate against evenly distributed loads. Methyl methacrylate is typically created by reacting acetone with sodium cyanide to produce acetone cyanohydrin. Additionally over time both will lose visual clarity, the difference being that acrylic be polished to regain it; polycarbonate cannot be. On the other hand, if you are looking for high impact resistance, polycarbonate sheeting is the obvious choice. Strength: The polycarbonate is stronger than the acrylic. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are easy to clean. All other trademarks, service marks and logos used herein are property of their respective owners. In summary the benefits are: acrylic is stiffer, shinier, more scratch resistant and cheaper than polycarbonate which is bendier and virtually unbreakable. Acrylic is preferred when very clear, lightweight material is needed, or when a specific size or shape is required because it is easily formed without impacting visibility. Polycarbonate can be bent to a tight radius, 100 times the thickness (R=Tx100), without cracking or crazing. Acrylic is … Polycarbonate is sometimes called Lexan (trademarked name by GE Plastics) or Makrolon. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are clear plastic materials, so they are similar on several accounts, but differences exist between both of them. Acrylic sheet can be saw cut, router cut and laser cut. Acrylic has a low chemical resistance and needs more specific cleaners. So finding a reliable plastics distributor that can provide both types of sheets to you in order to meet all of these different needs. As we mentioned with polycarbonate, the UV lighting problem here does not exist. Don't get us wrong; polycarbonate is definitely necessary and extremely useful. So, what’s the difference between plexiglass vs acrylic? 0 Shares 0 0 0 0 0. 1. Acrylic vs. Polycarbonate Machining Please select... ABS Acetal Acrylic Delrin ® FR-4 FR-5 G-9 G-10 G-11 G-3 G-5 G-7 Grade C Canvas Grade CE Canvas Grade L Linen Grade LE Linen Grade X Paper Grade XX Paper Grade XXX Paper HDPE Nylatron ® Nylon PEEK Plexiglas Polycarbonate LDPE Polypropylene PVC Rulon ® Ryton Teflon ® PTFE/FEP Torlon ® UHMW Ultem ® Vespel ® Another popular brand name for Polycarbonate is Makrolon®, owned by Bayer. How to work with Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Transparent plastic is typically categorized into two general types: polycarbonate and acrylic. Today, a number of manufacturers create plexiglass acrylic products sold under brand names including Acrylite, Crylux, Lucite and Perspex. Acrylic plastic has a light transmittance of 92% compared to that of polycarbonate plastic which has a light transmittance of 88% comparatively. Acrylic is very rigid whereas polycarbonate is more flexible. It won’t begin to lose that strength and durability that it has today! Acrylic Vs. Polycarbonate - Understanding The Differences. Polycarbonate vs. Acrylic for Greenhouses Glass has been a mainstay in greenhouse construction for centuries, but while its light transmitting properties are ideal for plant growth and natural indoor lighting, its performance as a durable construction material leaves a lot to be desired. Acrylic is shinier and polycarb is stronger. All rights hereto are retained by Curbell Plastics and any third party owners of such rights. Comparison of Lexan vs Plexiglass. Or Register to create a new user account. Common Applications of Acrylic & Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is definitely the stronger of the two, partly due to the fact that polycarbonate plastic is much more flexible than acr ylic plastic. Acrylic is marginally clearer than polycarbonate and the difference is negligible but the gap will widen if polycarbonate is allowed to yellow, as a result of sun-exposure. Each exhibits particular advantageous and disadvantageous characteristics that make one or the other more appropriate to use in a given application. Now that you know what both Plexiglass and Lexan are made of and when they are often used for, let’s compare the two. Because it's less rigid than Acrylic, Polycarbonate handles material stress more efficiently and has higher impact-resistance. Product link URL Join Andy Joe Plastic Hero as he tests glass, acrylic and polycarbonate against the force of a baseball bat! In addition, polycarbonate is more expensive than acrylic. Polycarbonate is the option to go for if you want an almost unbreakable clear plastic sheet. Polycarbonate is also widely used in architectural glazing for  medical facilities, retail and government buildings, and transportation centers at risk from breakage and vandalism. Acrylic is marginally clearer than polycarbonate and the difference is negligible but the gap will widen if polycarbonate is allowed to yellow, as a result of sun-exposure. These advantages include increased light filtration, impact resistance, increased strength, and improved weight and viscosity flow characteristics. The comparison gives a clear idea of the right one to apply for a specific task. Even though each plastic can share the same form, they will function very differently. Acrylic is the most common choice for the majority of basketball hoops for the outdoors. Polycarbonate (Lexan) vs Acrylic (Lucite) May 3rd, 2018 Sheet grade polycarbonate (aka Lexan or Makrolon) and acrylic sheet (aka Lucite) are two of the most frequently used see-through plastics. Second, acrylic is extremely scratch resistant. The edges on Perspex or acrylic sheet can be polished back up to restore the clarity, making it ideal for the display industry. While they are often considered to be similar in materials and applications, they can be used for different things and have different benefits. Acrylic and polycarbonate are two of the most popular clear plastics. When compared to standard glass, both acrylic and polycarbonate materials provide many benefits that standard glass does not afford. Looking through a new, clear sheet of each you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. When looking at polycarbonate roof sheeting vs acrylic roof sheeting, you will notice there are a number of different characteristics. Polycarbonate and acrylic are two common transparent plastic forms. To begin with, they are both strong and durable plastic materials. Second, acrylic is extremely scratch resistant. Acrylic and Lexan, a branded name for polycarbonate sheeting, are both durable and flexible materials, often compared to one another because both are transparent and both stand as two of the most frequently utilized types of see-through plastics.Acrylic and polycarbonate both weigh half as much as glass and yet both plastics are much more shatter resistant. Also, be sure to check out our complete acrylic and polycarbonate product lines. Plexiglass (acrylic plastic) is the winner here. Curbell Plastics, Inc. does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein and it is the customer’s responsibility to conduct its own research and make its own determination regarding the suitability of specific products for any given application. I buy, use and sell a significant amount of both products and each has its application. Acrylic is often compared to polycarbonate, another transparent polymer sometimes used for bearing loads. In this lesson we will compare and contrast the physical and mechanical properties of each, as well as the uses of each. Summary – Polycarbonate vs Acrylic. We provide custom cut materials, machined plastic parts, and fabrication sourcing. Partnering with over 100 of the best plastic manufacturers. When acrylic was created in the early 1900s, one of the products produced with it was registered under the name Plexiglas. Polycarbonate and acrylic plastic are both polymers. Now that you know what both Plexiglass and Lexan are made of and when they are often used for, let’s compare the two. Lexan and Plexiglas are not specific names to generalize Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Both polycarbonate sheets vs. acrylic sheets offer a ton of benefits over glass and other transparent materials. All statements, technical information and recommendations contained in this publication are for informational purposes only. Polycarbonate vs Acrylic Plastic Polycarbonate is much stronger. To begin the process, raw resin (polycarbonate pellets) is fed into an extruder and melted to the desired temperature. Don’t misunderstand my preference for acrylic. First, like polycarbonate, acrylic has very high transmissivity (it allows for the passage of light). Either acrylic or polycarbonate plastic can be used for a greenhouse. Acrylic (PMMA): Acrylic is also well known for two principal characteristics. He pointed out that my rad mount was made from polycarbonate (like they make riot shields from) which would be a good substitute for acrylic… When to use LEXAN vs Plexiglass Polycarbonate and acrylic are suitable for use in a variety of applications, some similar, and some very different. However, if you are replacing a window in a shed, acrylic sheet or polycarbonate are excellent substitutes. Polycarbonate is sometimes called Lexan®, which is a trademark by Sabic. Summary – Perspex vs Polycarbonate Perspex is a trade name for acrylic sheets, which are manufactured by the polymerization of acrylic monomers and their copolymers. Polycarbonate has 250 times the impact resistance of glass. Making the Correct Choice: Acrylic vs Polycarbonate Luminaire Lenses. Once the polycarbonate sheets have been fabricated through the extrusion process, they can be further processed to achieve the desired final product. acrylic versus polycarbonate Sales of acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate) and polycarbonate represent most of the “see thru” plastics that are sold. Values may vary according to brand name. Polycarbonate is sometimes called Lexan®, which is a trademark by Sabic. Acrylic (PMMA): Acrylic is also well known for two principal characteristics. When it comes to polycarbonate sheets vs. acrylic sheets, they differ in a few key areas, including their appearance, strength, ability to be shaped and cut, and their durability over time. A polymer is simply a material made up of different molecules that are linked together in long chains. Welcome Back! Polycarbonate is, to an extent, more resistant to chemicals than acrylic, but substances such as ammonia can cause damage over the long-run. On the other hand, acrylic is made by synthesizing methyl methacrylate. Acrylic and polycarbonate are very useful plastics with a wide variety of properties. Tighter bend radius adds stress to the acrylic sheet and may result in crazing or cracking of the material. While it depends on the final product and volume, Polycarbonate is generally 30-40% more expensive than Acrylic. First, like polycarbonate, acrylic has very high transmissivity (it allows for the passage of light). When it comes to their appearance, both are generally clear and look very similar to one another from afar. Some goals are made of molded plastic, acrylic, polycarbonate … The continuous method of bulk polymerization is quicker and less labor intensive because this method is specifically used for creating acrylic plastic sheets with thinner thicknesses and smaller widths than batch cell can produce. But when compared to each other, acrylic has a huge color pallet, which is not the same in the polycarbonate. They have similar properties, as well as different advantages and disadvantages. Comparing acrylic and polycarbonate is the safest way of determining the one to use for a project. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are clear plastic materials, so they are similar on several accounts, but differences exist between both of them. We’re here to help. The best choice for cleaning is a microfibre or 100-percent cotton cloths. With superior resistance to discoloration, impact, and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass sheet is ideal for any application. Reference: 1. ©2021 Curbell Plastics, Inc. Acrylic is a less expensive alternative to polycarbonate, but polycarbonate is stronger and better able to withstand heat and UV rays. Here are some common applications: Spectator protection for ice hockey rinks. While the form may be the same, you will find that a clear polycarbonate sheet and a clear acrylic sheet are vastly different due to the physical and chemical properties of the plastic. If you set up polycarbonate vs acrylic plastic in an arena, there would be a clear winner. Compared to glass, the strength of acrylic offers 10 times more resistance to impact than glass. These two types of plastics are oftentimes compared to one another because they are similar in appearance and the most frequently utilized see-through plastic materials on the market. Polycarbonate sheet is often used in bullet proof glass and riot shield and helmets. Making the Correct Choice: Acrylic vs Polycarbonate Luminaire Lenses. It has superior weathering properties compared to many other transparent plastics. It can withstand greater force against it. Fish tanks, reptile and other animal enclosures It is 250 times stronger and just as clear as glass. Sign up for A&C Plastics Updates, Promotions, Less expensive than glass and polycarbonate, 92% light transmittance in all thicknesses (better clarity than glass), Insusceptible to yellowing or discoloration from the sun, Thermoplastic with a working temp of 180F continuous, 250x the impact resistance of glass and 30x stronger than acrylic, Less rigid and available in a variety of flexible grades, Thermoplastic with a working temp of 240F continuous, Highly resistant to acids and other chemicals such as gasoline, Sheets can be drilled without worry of cracking. To help you choice for cleaning is a transparent plastic material with outstanding,. To be similar in materials and applications, they can be heated and molded but. 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acrylic vs polycarbonate 2021