The first step to deciding which plastic sheeting material you need for a project is knowing whether you need plexiglass or polycarbonate sheeting. Acrylic sheeting provides superior clarity and a higher impact resistance than traditional glass, and is easier to cut than polycarbonate, and is also less expensive. Specialty acrylic sheeting such a UV transmitting or UV filtering acrylic can provide additional cost savings depending on your application. Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each specialty plastic material can help you find the most efficient plastic sheet with your desired visual effects.
UV Filtering Acrylic Sheet
When looking for acrylic sheeting designed to protect from the sun, UV filtering acrylic can help prevent the transmission of harmful ultraviolet rays. This specialty acrylic meets the special needs of picture framers, artists, and museums to protect artwork and special documents from fading and degradation contributed to UV rays.
UV Transmitting Acrylic Sheet
The opposite of UV filtering acrylic sheeting is UV transmitting acrylic sheeting. UV transmitting acrylic allow the passing of UV-A light and UV-B light in applications such as medical treatment or tanning beds. UV transmitting acrylic plastic is designed to allow up to 92% UV transmission and withstand continuous, heavy-duty use. This specialty sheet provides the same benefits of traditional plexiglass such as high impact resistance, yet allowing for easy fabrication and fitting.
Museum Acrylic Sheet
Although UV filtering acrylic sheet provides superior benefits for framing and displaying artwork, museum acrylic can provide even more benefits for these applications. Tru-Vue’s museum acrylic sheeting is designed specifically to ensure protection that prevents oxidization and degradation over time. In addition to its UV filtering qualities, museum acrylic is also anti-reflective.
Frame Grade Acrylic
Frame grade acrylic sheeting was designed with framing applications in mind, becoming the gold standard in framing art and photography. OPTIX’s framing acrylic sheet is camera-inspected to ensure there are no imperfections, contributing the superior color, clarity, and integrity of the material. This specialty acrylic sheet absorbs up to 98% of UV rays and is just half the weight of traditional glass, as all acrylic sheeting is.
While there are special anti-static films and coatings available on the market for your plexiglass sheeting, these do not provide a permanent solution like anti-static acrylic sheet does. Anti-static acrylic, or electrostatic dissipative acrylic, is designed to prevent latent damaged or rejection to electronic items without being affected by humidity. Antistatic acrylic sheet is often used in applications such as conveyor line covers, glove boxes, electronic equipment and more.
Abrasion Resistant Acrylic
For glazing applications in high traffic areas or areas subjected to small impact, abrasion resistant acrylic sheeting is the ideal material. Abrasion resistant acrylic can either be coated on one or both sides, depending on your needs. The special coating on abrasion resistant plexiglass prevents scuffing and scratching in traffic areas that feature shadow boxes, display cases, and more.
Infrared Plastic Acrylic Sheet
When discretion or security is needed in your glazing application, infrared transmitting acrylic sheeting is the perfect material. Although all acrylic plastics transmit infrared, this specialty acrylic also blocks visible light, transmitting infrared light only. Infrared plastic acrylic has the same physical properties as traditional plexiglass, such as superior impact resistance and being easy to cut. Typical applications for infrared plastic include hiding video cameras, audio equipment, or security cameras.
Impact Modified Acrylic Sheeting
Although acrylic sheeting already provides 17 times the impact resistance of traditional glass, impact modified acrylic provides 10 times the strength of traditional acrylic sheeting. This makes impact modified acrylic plastic one of the best materials for shipping and handling, as well as applications such as POP displays, windows, signage and more. This modified acrylic provides the same clarity and thermoforming abilities of traditional clear plexiglass.
Lucite Block Acrylic
Lucite block acrylic sheeting the best material available to take your signage to the next level. This specialty acrylic sheeting is a solid light diffusion sheet for the production of channel letters. Lucite block allows the insertion of LEDs directly into the material for an evenly diffused glow. Lucite block acrylic retains its superior qualities in both indoor and outdoor applications .
Black and White Acrylic
Another popular acrylic plastic used in signage is black and white acrylic sheeting. This specialty acrylic sheeting is weather resistant with a high impact resistance making it a great material for outdoor signage applications. Black and white acrylic hides your sign or message when there is no lighting deployed, giving you full control and customization of your signs. This acrylic sheet will remain black during the day and give off a bright, white light in the dark.
Acrylic sheeting gives you full control over the creation and fabrication of a project because of its ability to be cut and formed easily. Specialty acrylic sheets give you these same benefits as traditional plexiglass, plus additional physical and chemical properties to fully customize the appearance of your project. If you have any questions about the different types of acrylics offered by A&C Plastics, contact us by calling (888) 702-6028 or filling out a form.