Glass has been shining through our windows, radiating its elegance in our living rooms and flashing its brilliance in the offices for as long as we can remember. However, innovative design elements like polycarbonate and plexiglass are much appreciated at a commercial level for their exceptional qualities. As a matter of fact, these materials are preferred over glass in many cases due to their unique characteristics.
Here we will discuss some major applications of plexiglass where it is preferred over glass.
But let’s do some groundwork first.
What is Plexiglass?
Plexiglass or acrylic glass is a synthetic polymer of a plastic material, methyl methacrylate.
It is made by the polymerization of the monomer of methyl methacrylate in the presence of a catalyst.
Due to its strength and translucency, it is used as an alternative to glass in many industries. The plexiglass industry is booming due to its versatility and high utility value.
Plexiglass Applications – Where it is Preferred over Glass
Due to its unique properties, plexiglass has found its utility in many industries. Here are some areas where plexiglass sheets are preferably used instead of ordinary glass.
1. Commercial and Residential Windows – For Its Strength and Thermal Resistance
Commercial user and homeowners want more than just the aesthetic brilliance of glass. Nothing can grace a space better than glass but due to its delicacy, people are moving away from glass. Windows are exposed to harsh weather conditions, dust and impact; therefore, plexiglass is used in commercial and residential windows as a sturdier and more durable option.
The contemporary plexiglass sheets are lighter in weight and less dense as compared to conventional glass. Thus it augments easy handling and installation. This modernistic material is a shatter-resistant and damage-free alternative to glass which makes it a good pick to be used in residential windows. Plexiglass is safe to use in places with kids and pets. Acrylic glass needs minimum maintenance and can endure unfavorable climatic conditions for longer periods of time as compared to its traditional counterpart.
Acrylic glass windows and doors are especially useful in regions with hot climatic conditions. It filters out the harmful UV radiations of the sun and provides thermal resistance. Plexiglass sheets reduce the unwanted glare. All in all, plexiglass windows are a win-win alternative to conventional windows. The benefits of plexiglass justify the preferred use of plexiglass over the ordinary glass in commercial and residential windows.
2. Solar Panels – For Its UV and Thermal Resistance
Plexiglass has proved to be a great alternative to glass in solar panels. Unlike glass, plexiglass can stand harsh and hot weather more effectively. Its thermal resistance explains the use of plexiglass in solar panels. Acrylic sheets allow 90% of light to pass through thus providing a more practical environment for solar panels to produce energy.
Moreover, plexiglass sheets do not allow ultraviolet radiations to pass through that makes them an even better replacement to glass.
3. Display Cases – For Its High Transparency
Acrylic outshines glass in most cases. Same is the case in display units.
Plexiglass has better optical clarity than glass. It radiates more aesthetic appeal than ordinary glass when used for commercial showcasing. It can easily be tinted to reflect different colors in a subtle way. Display cases made of acrylic can be used as effectively in brightly lit rooms as in dark rooms due to the low light reflection property of plexiglass. Acrylic minimizes the extra glare. Therefore an ideal material for commercial displays and exhibitions.
4. DIY projects – For Its Versatility
Plexiglass is a real good news for the DIY enthusiasts.
Despite its elegance, glass cannot be used for DIY projects as it is hard to cut, customize and install on your own. However, plexiglass has brought forth a whole new world of opportunities for the creative spirits. Acrylic is easy to cut, use and customize. You can easily cut plexiglass sheets into any shape and form at home (and that without any special equipment). From as small as a picture frame to as huge as window panes, you can easily use plexiglass sheets for your DIY projects. It is also a cost-effective alternative to glass and allows you to bring the elegance of glass to your DIY projects.
There’s a bit of debate around polycarbonate vs acrylic for DIY projects. Both of them can be effectively used in place of glass. Polycarbonate is better for projects where more customization is needed. However, plexiglass can be used for more sturdy and huge DIY projects like aquarium and glass shelving.
5. Green Houses – For Its Endurance to Harsh Weather Conditions
The trend of setting up your own kitchen garden and a dedicated greenhouse is getting some hype. It’s all due to plexiglass.
Traditionally, glass was used as a covering for greenhouses which makes the whale setup a big hit on the wallet. But with plexiglass covering, greenhouses have become more accessible to the common homeowners. Acrylic covering is more durable. It is favorable against harsh weather conditions, therefore it is widely used as a greenhouse covering. Glass has long been replaced with plexiglass covering for good.
If you are stuck on the comparison of polycarbonate vs acrylic covering, here’s a tip. Acrylic is more rigid as compared to polycarbonate, so go for it!
Ready to Switch?
Apart from these applications, plexiglass finds utility in government buildings, home safety, ATMs, and other secure facilities due to its strength benefits. Plexiglass has replaced glass in many areas and it is eventually taking over the glass industry. And we think it’s for good, so are you ready for some replacements?