Acrylic is an extremely versatile material which is used in a wide range of environments. Acrylic sheeting is available in a huge range of variations, including; clear, coloured, mirrored, frosted and even with a brushed aluminium effect.
Extruded acrylic and cast acrylic are the two main types of sheet acrylic you will come across. Although they may initially look similar, the two have quite different properties and one is also much more expensive than the other.
It is important to be aware of the differences between the two so you can pick the type most suitable for your needs.
Extruded and cast acrylic sheets differ mainly in their thermal and chemical properties which are caused by the manufacturing process. There are also several other differences as outlined below which you may wish to consider when choosing acrylic sheet for your home DIY project.
Key differences you should be aware of when working with acrylic sheets:
Due to the way the sheets are made cast acrylic tend to have slight variations in the thickness of the sheet whereas extruded sheets are much more uniform, with next to no variation. This makes extruded acrylic ideal for vacuum forming or situations where more detailed precise shapes are needed.
Cast acrylic has an isotropic response to temperature meaning there is a maximum shrinkage of 2% in all directions. It may be important to note that acrylic expands and contracts at a much greater rate than glass. Extruded acrylic, on the other hand, shows differences in shrinkage depending on the thickness and direction of extrusion.
Benefits of Extruded sheets
Benefits of Cast acrylic sheets
Both types of acrylic benefit from being durable and long lasting, showing excellent resistance to natural aging. Most manufactures will guarantee against noticeable yellowing for approximately 10 years.
Often it may not be made obvious which type of acrylic you are buying, especially online. Cast acrylic can be as much as double the price of extruded acrylic so if nothing is mentioned and it seems cheap, the chances are it is extruded acrylic.
Plastic Sheeting is the result of plastic extrusion. This is formed by means of a high range manufacturing process - melting and deforming a raw plastic that results to permanent file of plastic sheets.
The ranges of plastic products are compatible for the construction and engineering substances. Display sheets, prints, and signs have diverted into plastic sheeting. Special designs in fabrication of plastic sheets are in extensive service globally. These plastic products have different kinds of classification from window frames to outdoor roofing applications.
Plastic sheeting is the best alternative for the more expensive steel.
There are many types of plastic sheeting. The Acrylic Plastic Sheet combines the most reliable quality for the visor or helmet. It has the most precise optical clearness. The intensity of the color of this product combines a good illumination in a wide range of opaque colors, transparent and translucent.
You can create a design depending on your project because acrylic is easy to shape. It is blended well with tough hardness and finish surface and is resilient to chemical and weather. It is easy to clean and maintain. It is largely utilized for aquariums or tanks at homes or commercial establishments. Acrylic plastic is also best for exterior lenses of automobile lights and appropriate watcher protector.
The Plastic Aluminum Composite Sheet catches the ultimate color of red, blue, green, yellow, metallic, black and white. This generous selection of colors grabs the eye of customers. These are lightweight, making it perfect for loading. It is also rust-proof and weather-proof. The material in aluminum plastic sheet is considered as first class thermal insulation. It has the best proven properties of light polythene core and varnish of baked aluminum polyester. It is ideal for all around indoor and outdoor purposes.
Plastic Aluminum Composite Sheet is recommended to use as panels for canopy and ceiling, display boards and billiards, stand for exhibitions and showrooms, copings for parapet walls, covers for column, wraps for beam, parts for furniture, elevators and stairways, panels for partition, and cladding canopy and balcony
The Polycarbonate Plastic Sheeting is the most natural among all plastic products. It comprises of clear and translucent quality and is heat resistant up to 145 degrees. It is unaffected by acids and water substances. These types of plastic sheeting are best for electronic application such as conduction of electrical properties.
The polycarbonate sheets are stabilized in advanced engineering practice to meet the reinforced shape, a great advantage for those who want to fabricate their own forms of design. Polycarbonate plastic sheeting substance has the best dimensional stability suitable for food exposure. It has the advantage of having superior resistance against heat and temperature and has massive mechanical potency. It also provides high endurance and strength compared to glass.
Polycarbonate plastic sheets are suitable for insulating electrical parts. It can be used also in components for medical and pharmaceutical apparatus, for glazing task, and tough materials for electrical engineers.
Polypropylene Plastic Sheets come in natural, beige, grey, black and white. It possesses superb resistance to solvents and degreasing substance as well as in the attack of electrolytic. The polypropylene Sheets are preferred for all applications exposed to cold state. It is lightweight, easy to form, bendable and welded.
These are used mainly in packaging purposes, cassette holder, pipes, tanks and linings, shells for seats and other automotive parts, containers and fibers.