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Acrylic v Polycarbonate - An overview of the differences

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Miles
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Acrylic v Polycarbonate - An overview of the differences

Post by Miles » October 19th, 2018, 10:22 am

Both materials feature impressive impact resistance. Both compare well with glass, making good glass alternatives. And they both weigh less than half the weight of glass.

Sheet grade polycarbonate is also called Lexan or Makrolon. Acrylic sheet is also called Lucite, Optix or Plexiglass
Polycarbonate is the strongest, with more than 30 times the impact resistance of glass. Acrylic has 10-24 times the impact resistance of glass
As a general rule, acrylic sheet is more shiny and polycarbonate is stronger
Acrylic comes in every imaginable colour. Polycarbonate comes in fewer colours
Polycarbonate can go slightly yellow when exposed long-term to UV rays
Both materials can suffer scratches, so you can't use abrasive cleaning materials on them. But it's easier to repair scratches in acrylic than polycarbonate
Acrylic tends to be a bit clearer than polycarbonate, slightly more transparent
Polycarbonate usually costs more than acrylic, sometimes a lot more
Acrylic is easier to cut. Polycarbonate is better if you need to drill, and you can use a standard drill bit
Acrylic is easier to break, especially if you drill close to the edge
Acrylic sheet can be polished to a smooth finish, but you can't polish polycarbonate
Acrylic is extremely rigid and cracks more easily than polycarbonate. Polycarbonate comes in both rigid and flexible grades
Acrylic isn't recommended in areas close to fire or heat. Polycarbonate is better at handling heat, up to 115 C, and is resistant to fire as well as acids and other chemicals
Polycarbonate is good for cold-forming and bending without heat, but it also dents easily
Both are salt-resistant so good for coastal areas
Both are 100% recyclable

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Re: Acrylic v Polycarbonate - An overview of the differences

Post by Miles » November 7th, 2018, 3:00 pm

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