Greater resistance than polycarbonate against scratching. Acrylic is a less expensive alternative to polycarbonate, but polycarbonate is stronger and better able to withstand heat and UV rays. Acrylic vs Polycarbonate vs Glass Backboards When purchasing a basketball goal the first thing you will notice is the differences in material. Acrylic and polycarbonate are very useful plastics with a wide variety of properties. Both plastics are resilient materials in comparison to its glass counterparts. Polycarbonate sheets can cost on average about 35% more than acrylic. So, what’s the difference between plexiglass vs acrylic? How to choose between acrylic and polycarbonate. Don’t misunderstand my preference for acrylic. Although easy to fabricate, unlike cast and extruded acrylic sheet material, the edges of polycarbonate cannot be polished. They have similar properties, as well as different advantages and disadvantages. It can withstand greater force against it. Greater UV resistance than polycarbonate. Shop Polycarbonate & Acrylic Sheets top brands at Lowe's Canada online store. Now that you know what both Plexiglass and Lexan are made of and when they are often used for, let’s compare the two. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are easy to clean. Solve application challenges, find answers to material questions, and get valuable technical advice. Polycarbonate can be processed and manufactured in a wide variety of ways, such as extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, and more. Values may vary according to brand name. When compared to standard glass, both acrylic and polycarbonate materials provide many benefits that standard glass does not afford. ©2021 Curbell Plastics, Inc. All rights reserved. These advantages include increased light filtration, impact resistance, increased strength, and improved weight and viscosity flow characteristics. Acrylic is often compared to polycarbonate, another transparent polymer sometimes used for bearing loads. One of the biggest differences between acrylic and polycarbonate is the cost. Strength: The polycarbonate is stronger than the acrylic. Acrylic cracks more easily than polycarbonate under stress. The polycarbonate and acrylic both are available in different colors. Acrylic is a transparent plastic material with outstanding strength, stiffness, and optical clarity. There are many requirements in our lives for clear plastics, from packaging that allows us to see the products we want, to submarine windows that restrain thousands of tons of pressure, yet allow us to see life beneath the waves. Methyl methacrylate is typically created by reacting acetone with sodium cyanide to produce acetone cyanohydrin. Choosing one over the other depends entirely on the specifics of your application. Acrylic also has better clarity than glass, with a light transmittance of 92 percent. 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. When it comes to their appearance, both are generally clear and look very similar to one another from afar. Product link URL Join Andy Joe Plastic Hero as he tests glass, acrylic and polycarbonate against the force of a baseball bat! Additionally over time both will lose visual clarity, the difference being that acrylic be polished to regain it; polycarbonate cannot be. Polycarbonate is sometimes called Lexan (trademarked name by GE Plastics) or Makrolon. When it comes to clear backboards, two types you will commonly see are acrylic and polycarbonate. Differences Between Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Difference Between Acrylic (Plexiglass) vs Polycarbonate (Lexan) Glass. Light & Clarity. So finding a reliable plastics distributor that can provide both types of sheets to you in order to meet all of these different needs. It has been widely used in medical industry, lenses manufacturing, automotive and packaging industry owing to its good chemical and weather resistance and excellent transparency. Both materials are also very easy to clean. Polycarbonate is far more impact resistant than acrylic but easier to scratch - polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable. Without getting too bogged down by the technical details, polycarbonate is produced by the reaction between bisphenol A and phosgene COCl2. This overall creation process is known as polymerization. Looking through a new, clear sheet of each you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. Material used for roofing, glazing, and cladding nearly always needs to withstand weather, potential vandalism, and incidental contact, and the greater impact resistance of polycarbonate is what makes it the material of choice for these environments. Acrylic sheet exhibits glass-like qualities — clarity, brilliance, and transparency — but at half the weight and many times the impact resistance of glass. How to work with Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Fish tanks, reptile and other animal enclosures Polycarbonate is a polymer of a carbonate group and bisphenol. Comparison of Lexan vs Plexiglass. 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. 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. Learn more about how to choose between polycarbonate vs. acrylic. Add in the up-charge for the scratch resistant-ultra violet material and the material cost could easily be double that of Acrylic. The molded acrylic sheets are then cured. Acrylic and polycarbonate sheeting have a number of differing characteristics. Sign in to access your web account. With superior resistance to discoloration, impact, and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass sheet is ideal for any application. All statements, technical information and recommendations contained in this publication are for informational purposes only. Comparing acrylic and polycarbonate is the safest way of determining the one to use for a project. Heat deflection temperature @ 66 psi/264 psi, Maximum continuous service temperature in air, Light transmittance (transparency/clarity). Tighter bend radius adds stress to the acrylic sheet and may result in crazing or cracking of the material. Don’t misunderstand my preference for acrylic. 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