Acrylic is a tough, shatterproof and resilient plastic material that is used in a wide range of industries. The acrylic is a popular option to replace a heavy material like glass in and around the home. Here are a few of the most pleasing qualities:
Easy to shape
Once this type of plastic reaches a temperature in the region of 100° it starts to become soft and pliable. This gives the option to easily shape the base material into small objects like picture frames, tubes and bottles to the much larger pieces of furniture. The actual plastic is easy to cut to shape or work on using a saw, drill or machine tool. The mold for shaping the plastic can be manufactured in a variety of materials, with plastic and wood the most popular choices and most cost-effective options.
The naturally tough and water-resistant nature of acrylic makes it a practical choice in the outdoor environment. It is a common material for car headlights and home windows. Also, outdoor signs can stand up for the long-term and easily retain the clear and clean look even in bright sunlight or regular rainfall. A great use of acrylic for outdoor use is sculptures because the material has light-refracting properties and is weather-resistance.
The weight of acrylic is nearly 50% less than alternatives such as glass. The lightweight nature of this material means it is a lot easier to handle throughout the manufacturing and installation process. Also, when it is used on a project like installing skylights in the home, the acrylic puts a lot less load on the frame and foundation.
Acrylic has the ability to stand up to significantly more force than a standard sheet of glass. In fact, acrylic is rated to be nearly 12 to 15 times more resilient. In the event of shattering, it only breaks into large pieces with relatively dull edges. This useful safety feature makes is a practical choice for a variety of products, including security barriers, bath or shower enclosures and sliding doors.
Acrylic is a highly transparent material that will not start to yellow over time. The ability to maintain its optical clarity means it is a practical choice for shop windows, greenhouses and plane windows. Plus, it is able to stand up to UV rays and may even feature as a coating on exterior windows or signs to give an extra degree of protection.