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.
Custom boxes are made from different materials. Each element determines the strength of the box and its use. Depending on the depth of one's pocket and the purpose of acquiring a certain container, one can specify what material they want their boxes to be made of. However, it would be wise to do a quick research before getting on the phone (or laptop) to order a custom container.
Custom Box Materials
Corrugated Plastic: Also known as Corriboard, corrugated plastic is a wide-range of plastic-plastic-sheet products made from high-impact polypropylene resin. Lightweight but tough, this material is mainly used for making signs and containers (read: boxes). Boxes made of corrugated plastic come in different sizes are reusable, and carry heavier weights than paperboard boxes. Corrugated plastic has many trade names, including Coroplast, Correct, and Twinplast, and it also comes in many colors.
Corrugated Fiberboard: This is the brown material most boxes are made of. Corrugated fiberboard is a type of paperboard that is made up of three layers: two flat pieces of paper with a fluted (corrugated) layer in the middle. This layering gives the material its strength, as well as the boxes.
Paperboard: Paperboard is a thick material made of, yes, paper. The main difference between cardboard and paper is that the former is thicker than the latter. Paperboard has several types, depending on their use and the industry using them, such as kraft board, laminated board, et cetera. A kind of paperboard is what is used to make corrugated fiberboard.
Cardboard: This refers to any heavy-duty paper. As such, most people use the terms cardboard, paperboard, and corrugated fiberboard interchangeably. Technically they are not the same thing. Cardboard is the parent name for all other 'boards.'
Wood: A hard material gotten from trees, wood is used to make crates and boxes and cases. It would be nice if one decided not to use wooden crates, as this would help the afforestation movement, and make steps towards reducing global warming.
Plastic: light, durable material produced by chemical processes, it can be formed into different shapes when heated. Mostly used in making crates, the plastic containers are divided into compartments that hold bottles for transportation and storage.
Metal: Metal containers are made of iron, tin, gold, or other alloys like brass. Boxes made of metal are durable, though susceptible to rust, and very expensive.
These are the different types of materials that are used to make custom containers. The strength, durability, and cost of a custom box depends on the material a customer chooses, and one's choice matters greatly if they are getting custom boxes for delivering goods to their clients.