Clear acrylic sheets cut to size

Acrylic advantages and disadvantages

Acrylic sheet is an excellent substitute for traditional glass for many purposes. This versatile type of plastic has numerous applications and it’s also much cheaper than standard glass. In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at the advantages of using acrylic compared to traditional glass.

The main advantages

The main disadvantages

  • 30x as strong as glass
  • 2x lighter than glass
  • Less expensive
  • Easier to work with
  • Durable
  • More translucent
  • Safer than glass
  • More liable to scratching than glass
  • Not heat-resistant

Advantage: 30 x as strong as glass

It might sound surprising but moulded acrylic sheet is actually thirty times as strong as standard glass. This is because acrylic sheet is a form of plastic and has much greater flexibility. When moulded acrylic is being processed there is only a small risk of it breaking.

Acrylic sheet strength

Acrylic sheet weight

Advantage: 2 x as light as glass

Acrylic sheet or plexiglass is twice as light as standard glass, a feature that’s very handy when you want to use it for applications such as hanging an acrylic barn door.

Advantage: Acrylic sheet is cheaper

Acrylic sheet is also recommended to anyone who wants to save themselves some money. Acrylic is not only much cheaper than standard glass, but it’s also easier to cut it to size. At Plasticsheetshop.co.uk, we’ll cut it to size for you for free.

Advantage: processing is easier

Regular glass is at a very high risk of breaking when being processed but there’s no problem with acrylic sheet. Plexiglass or clear acrylic offers almost limitless options for processing. You can saw, mill, drill, engrave, glue, polish and bend ( with heat) these sheets.

Tip: Why not try your hand at making a DIY Plexiglass memo board? Use a whiteboard marker to write your to-do or shopping lists. Add a picture of each member of the family above and everyone can organise their schedule.

Advantage: Plexiglass is hardwearing

Acrylic sheet is very durable and will not weather or discolour. As long as you maintain it regularly, it will keep its good looks for years. Plexiglass has the same levels of thermal efficiency as standard glass. It’s also UV- and moisture- resistant and this is why acrylic sheet is perfect for exterior applications.

Acrylic sheet translucent

Acrylic sheet price

Advantage: it lets more light through

Clear acrylic has a higher level of light transmittance that standard glass: it lets through 92% of available light. Even in thicker sheets, it still lets more light through than glass. If you need some protection from sunlight or require privacy, choose tinted or matte acrylic.

Advantage: acrylic is safer than glass

Plexiglas is ideal for applications where safety is a consideration because it is much more difficult to break it. It’s also 30 times as strong as glass. This is why acrylic sheet is often used for balcony glazing or for aquariums.

Disadvantage: Acrylic sheet is more sensitive to scratches

One disadvantage of plexiglass is that it scratches more easily than standard glass, so it’s important that you maintain and clean it correctly. To find out how to do this, read our blog with tips for cleaning acrylic sheet: How to clean acrylic.

Disadvantage: Acrylic is not resistant to heat

Acrylic sheet should never be used for safety applications such as windows in trains and buses. This is because acrylic panels aren’t heat resistant. If you need a substitute for standard glass that will withstand high temperatures, opt for clear polycarbonate.

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