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Acrylic vs. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate and Acrylic are alike in several different ways, some of these being that both plastics weigh less than half the weight of what comparable sized glass sheets would weigh. So, for what you lose in weight, you will gain in strength. Both plastics have tremendous flexibility and are very easy to clean using the proper cleaning materials.


Acrylic Polycarbonate
Roughly 17 times the impact resistance of glass About 250 times the impact resistance of glass
Less likely to scratch Less likely to break
Better UV resistance Good chemical resistance
Has a high gloss finish and is more transparent, and shinier than Polycarbonate Lighter in weight than even Acrylic
Less expensive than Glass and Polycarbonate Much more impact resistance than Acrylic
Easier to polish More flexible than Acrylic and can be bent cold
Can be polished for scratches and clean edges Superior strength in transparent category
Long lasting clarity in the sunlight Non-flammable, can be exposed to high temperatures
Can be heated, and molded into shape, then heated again while retaining its quality and appearance. Can be drilled without cracking
Cuts easier than glass
Better glue bonding than Polycarbonate

Examples of Applications

Acrylic Polycarbonate
Window and glass substitutes Bullet-resistant windows
Insulations Window & glass substitute
Machine guards Security windows
Camper windows Greenhouse windows and roofs
Craft projects Windshields (boats, motorcycles, & four-wheelers)
Signage Machinery guards
Point-of-purchase displays Sign materials
Residential and commercial aquariums
Light covers

Differences Types of Sheets

Acrylic Polycarbonate
Clear Clear
Colored and Fluorescent Colored
Light diffusing Tinted
Mirrored Mirrored
Bullet resistant Bullet proof
Abrasion resistant Abrasion resistant
Block/monolithic slabs Flame retardant
Black and white FDA approved
Rod, Tubing, & Profile also available Multiwall- Greenhouse material
UV filtering and transmitting UV Resistant (Sunlife Polycarbonate)
Anti-static and non-glare Anti-static

Cons of Polycarbonate

  • Hard to glue
  • More expensive than Acrylic

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