When you think of windows, you most likely think of thick panes of traditional glass sheeting. For years, traditional glass was the only material used in windows, but as polycarbonate sheeting and acrylic sheeting have gained traction, they are now both popular alternatives for glazing applications. So why should you opt for acrylic plastic sheets for your windows instead of traditional glass? There are quite a few reasons, but we will talk about the top four.
If you are a cost-conscious business owner or consumer, you’ll be happy to know plexiglass sheeting is an economically conservative alternative to using glass. Plastics such as acrylic plexiglass sheet take less energy and money to produce, are lighter than glass so their transportation and shipping costs are lower as well. The actual cost-savings of the product depends on the type of acrylic sheeting you are purchasing, as there is normal clear acrylic sheeting, as well as colored acrylic sheets, acrylic mirrored sheeting, Lucite block, and more. Furthermore, plexiglass sheeting does not require the additional purchases of coatings and films, as you can buy plexiglass with these qualities already in impact modified acrylic sheet, UV-filtering plexiglass, UV-transmitting plexiglass, and more.
Safety and Strength
There a number of reasons to want superior strength windows, whether you have large dogs, live in a hurricane-prone region, or are worried about strangers breaking in. Acrylic plastic sheets have 17 times the impact strength of glass, meaning, it takes a lot more force to shatter acrylic than glass. When you use acrylic sheeting as your window panes, you no longer need to worry about someone getting injured if a pane is to break. Plexiglass sheeting is unique in that while it is extremely difficult to shatter, it can be broken, however, it doesn’t break into a thousand tiny, dangerous shards.
Creativity and Ease of Use
Although these are two separate advantages, acrylic sheet’s ease of use ties directly into its ability to be used creatively. Acrylic sheeting is much easier to cut than glass. Acrylic sheeting can be cut much like wood, using similar tools such as a router, scoring tool, or table saw. Additionally, plexiglass sheet weighs roughly half of what glass does, making it much easier to move, cut, and install. Because it can be easily cut and is fairly light-weight in comparison to traditional glass, acrylic sheeting is ideal for use when making an accent window, or designed window. Glass is not practical when designing windows for architectural pieces and it is too brittle and rigid, the flexible polymers in plexiglass allow for custom shapes and designs. Additionally, acrylic sheeting comes in a variety of styles including colored acrylic sheet, fluorescent acrylic sheet, and black and white acrylic sheet.
One of the best reasons to purchase acrylic plastic sheets over traditional glass is to remove glare and reflections. Plexiglass sheeting’s clarity allows for more than 90% of light to pass through, making it more transparent than glass. Glass reflects more light and the thicker glass is, the more discoloring you will notice. However, no matter the thickness of plexiglass, it always remains clear.
Once you take a look at all of the benefits acrylic sheeting has over traditional glass for window applications, it makes sense that manufacturers have been choosing plexiglass for years. This isn’t to say traditional glass doesn’t have its benefits, but plexiglass is a more durable, versatile, economically sound alternative to glass.