Acrylic is a popular plastic that is made using acrylic acid derivatives. There are several acrylic polymer grades to choose from and they are usually used in injection and extrusion moulding manufacturing processes. The most popular type of acrylic is PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate acrylic) because of its favourable qualities. So, why should you consider using acrylic?
You get to choose between different acrylic polymer grades. The polymers can be opaque, transparent, translucent, or colored, allowing you to achieve exactly what you are looking for. There is also variety in terms of light transmission, heat resistance, flow rates and release capabilities.
PMMA acrylic sheets have glass-like properties like brilliance, clarity, translucence, and transparency, but they are half the weight of glass. The light weight makes acrylic ideal for skylights, shoes, artificial nails, and dentures.
They are very durable due to a high impact resistance (ten times that of glass at a tensile strength of 8,000 lbs. per square inch). This impact resistance is why you see most motorcycle windshields using acrylic. If there is impact, it will not shutter and even when it does, the edges it fractures into are dull and edge, adding to a cyclist’s safety and making it ideal for shower doors, sliding glass doors, security barriers, and bath enclosures.
The thermoplastic softens under high temperature, making it possible to mold and shape into different shapes. Acrylic is used in bottles, picture frames, tubes, and figurines.
Acrylic, unlike some plastics, does not yellow. It can go for over 10 years with no change in appearance. This feature makes it ideal for greenhouses, plane windows, store-front windows, and skylights.
It is more weatherproof than other plastics. The weather-resistance makes acrylic ideal for car headlight lenses and home windows.
Acrylic is advantageous over glass in that it lets in around 10% more light. This is, therefore, a good option for artwork and other items that need shine, clarity, and radiance.
How Optical Coatings Further Enhance Acrylic
An acrylic specialty optical coating will make acrylic sheets even more durable because they enhance scratch resistance as well as solar reflectivity.
You get enhanced aesthetics with an acrylic specialty optical coat because the coat gives you glare reduction and anti-fogging. The non-yellowing feature of acrylic will also be extended by an optical coat.
The downside to acrylic’s ability to pass more light than glass is that it is susceptible to damage from UV rays. With an optical coat, items like acrylic glasshouses are safer.
A coat gives even more clarity. An optical coating applied to the surface of acrylic reduces reflection and less light is lost when passing through. This reduced reflection also improves an image’s contrast since it gets rid of stray light. Depending on your particular needs, an optical coat can reflect as much as 99.99% of the light that falls on the object.
An acrylic speciality optical coat has cost benefits since a coat increases the longevity of the coated object. The cost benefit can be quite significant for expensive objects and fixtures like greenhouses, doors, and windows.