acrylic advantages and disadvantages,For many years now, many people all over the world have switched to the use of acrylics. Acrylics are considered the best alternative to using glass. The reason for this switch is due to the many uses and qualities of acrylics. People find it very ideal to use because acrylics are:
Resistant to deterioration and
Resistant to UV
Come in higher thicknesses
And much more
However, even with these and many more advantages, acrylics have a few disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Acrylics:
The first disadvantage of using acrylics is that it scratches more easily than glass. This means that it will need more care when handling to reduce the rate of scratching. However, if it accidentally gets any scratches, it is easy for you to restore it to its original form. All that you need to do is polish the acrylic to get rid of the scratches. Never ever use sandpaper on acrylics because what you will get is more scratches. You should take extra care if you are cleaning acrylic with rough pads.
As compared to most other synthetics, acrylics are less strong and are not resistant to matting.
The other not so good thing about acrylics is that they are easily stained by grease and oil. However, it is easy to clean these with water and a mild detergent. With these, you will not leave any scratches on the sheets.
The other disadvantage of using acrylic is distortion. This happens because acrylics bend easily during construction.
The other drawback that you will have to deal with once you have decided to switch to acrylics is the expense. Acrylic especially if you decide to go for custom styles for example when construction aquariums will cost you much more than glass. However, the truth is that acrylic plastic is worth the cost. With proper care and maintenance, it will not let you down regardless of where you are using it. At the end of the day, the end result will be more attractive, have a better quality and top of the art workmanship.
The other minor disadvantages of using acrylic are that their impact resistance is not at par, they have a poor solvent resistance, flexible grades of acrylics are not available, acrylic is subject to cracking through stress and have a low continuous service temperature.
Many different products are made from acrylic, including shower doors, bath enclosures, windows, and skylights. It is many times stronger than glass, making it much more impact resistant and therefore safer. Falling against a shower door will not likely break it, for example; baseballs that would otherwise crash through glass windows will, in most cases, just bounce off acrylic windows. It also insulates better than glass, potentially saving on heating bills.
Acrylic glass is also very clear, allowing 92% of visible light to pass through it. Very thick glass will have a green tint, while acrylic remains clear. It also weathers well, keeping its clarity over the years without turning yellow or breaking down when exposed to sunlight over a long period of time.
Another advantage of acrylic is that it is only half as heavy as glass. This makes this material easier to work with, and makes it a better choice for projects where weight is an issue. It can also be sawed, whereas glass must be scored.
Virtually all major public aquariums now build display tanks out of this thermoplastic, and it is often used in many other buildings. When this material is just over 1 inch thick (about 25 mm), it is bullet resistant; the presidential motorcade, the pope’s booth-vehicle, teller enclosures, and drive-through window enclosures all feature bullet-resistant acrylic. It is used for airplane windows as well.
Misconceptions and Disadvantages
There are some misconceptions about acrylic, namely that it yellows, turns brittle, and cracks over time. Though this might be true of cheap forms of plastic, it is not so with acrylic. If taken care of, this material can remain new looking for several decades, regardless of age or exposure to sun. Some people worry that it scratches too easily, but unlike glass, scratches may be buffed out.
For all of its advantages, there are two disadvantages of acrylic: It is more expensive than glass, and if exposed to a direct flame, it will melt and eventually burn. Burning releases toxic fumes, so safety precautions should always be taken when it is being cut with power tools or bent using heat. When it is not cared for properly, or when inferior acrylic is used, it can scratch, and improperly made joints can be very visible.