Acrylic is roughly half as dense as glass. This means that not only is glass more expensive and difficult to transport larger works due to weight, it also requires special consideration when hanging or displaying the work. The increased impact resistance of acrylic is another critical factor that helps prevent breakage in transport as well as high traffic areas.
Types of Acrylic Sheeting
Standard clear acrylic is the most common option for everyday framing applications. It is the least expensive of the acrylic family, and it will give you up to 92% light transmission for an optically clear image. Clear acrylic sheeting is ideal for works that simply require the glazing to act as a physical barrier.
Frame Grade Acrylic:
Frame-grade acrylic sheet has similar properties as standard clear acrylic, however, this material is slowed down during production and held to much higher quality control standards to eliminate any imperfections within the sheet.
Non-glare acrylic sheet is another popular option for framing. It has a slight texture on the surface of the sheet that aids in reducing surface glare, resulting in a less obstructed view.
Abrasion Resistant Acrylic:
Ideal for high traffic areas, abrasion resistant (AR) acrylic has a specialty hard coating on the surface of the acrylic sheet that prevents small-scale surface scratches. Generally, anything with enough force to scratch the AR acrylic would also result in a scratch on the glass.
Ultra Violet Filtering Acrylic:
Commonly referred to as OP3, UV filtering acrylic sheet can block out up to 98% of harmful UV rays that will potentially damage the picture or artwork. UV filtering acrylic sheeting is most commonly used for more expensive and/or fragile works that would deteriorate if exposed to harmful light.
Tru Vue Optium Museum Grade Acrylic:
Widely known as “The Cadillac of Museum Grade sheets,” Optium Museum Acrylic takes many of the independent characteristics above and combines them into one sheet. Optium Museum Acrylic sheet is abrasion resistant, UV filtering, anti-static, and anti-reflective, resulting in quite possibly the most complete option for acute preservation. In fact, it is the glazing of choice for a number of priceless items such as multiple Da Vinci’s and Picasso’s.