As acrylic sheeting, also known as Plexiglass, continued to gain traction, people weren’t just left with traditional glass as the sole option for their project and construction needs. From windows, protective barriers, and solar panels, it has been around for decades serving with various applications that take advantage of its natural properties. Today, Plexiglass has been recognized more than ever throughout different industries, including medicine. Due to the 2019 novel coronavirus, the material demand has increased with it being used as barriers and means for social distancing.
Read on to take a deeper understanding of what really is it, why people prefer it to the traditional, and how the world utilizes the material for different purposes.
What Is Plexiglass and What Is It Made Of?
When Romm and Hass Company brought Plexiglass to the market around 1933, they knew it would be a big game-changer. It was originally used for items such as airplane screens, canopies, and turrets during World War II.
In a nutshell, Plexiglass is a transparent, petroleum-based material that is considered safer and more convenient to use than glass. It is made up of poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA, characterized by excellent chemical resistance, innate U.V. resistance, and weather ability, lightweightness, etc. Its durability is also known to being able to handle pressure at the bottom of a 33-foot-deep aquarium.
Why Do People Prefer Plexiglass Over Traditional Glass?
Conventionally, glass has been used dominantly as a construction material because of its transparency and delicate appearance. It was only due to its safety and maintenance concerns that people started to look for a glass-substitute.
The latest advancements in the design industry have paved the way for a new, lightweight, and high-strength glass alternative to be produced – the Plexiglass. Most houses and store owners now preferred using this thermoplastic material because of their long-term gains. Durability tops the reason as glass easily shatters and breaks because of its frozen liquid composition.
Its remarkable light transmission properties are also one of the reasons for plexiglass’ widespread use. Aside from its capacity to transmit light, it provides better clarity and less glare compared to glass. Its outstanding customizability also makes it an ideal material for DIY projects. Custom cut plexiglass imposes no risk as it doesn’t easily shatter; if it does, it breaks into harmless fragments.
How Is Plexiglass Being Used?
Unless you’re creating modern art, designing windows, or medical shields, you might wonder how people could utilize Plexiglass in their personal or business needs. Given its superior strength and visibility, it is a suitable material for various commercial and non-commercial applications. The following are just some good examples:
- Solar Panels and Greenhouses
Plexiglass is a preferred material for constructing solar panels and greenhouses. It is shatter-resistant in solar panels and holds up better in bad weather conditions while still allowing a considerable amount of light to pass through to its solar cells. With greenhouses, acrylic provides ample light without collecting dirt from the outside. It demands little maintenance and costs lower than using a typical glass.
While skylights have traditionally been constructed with glass, consumers now favor using Plexiglass or acrylic. With its ability to be able to block infrared and harmful U.V. rays teaming up with a lightweight property, the material is undoubtedly a safer and more economical option. It also offers advantages in terms of design. Plexiglass can be heated and be formed to a variety of designs or shapes.
- Enclosures and Furnishings
Shelf covers, backsplashes, table tops – these are just some of the beautiful crafts you could make from Plexiglass. It is ideal for bathroom enclosures with its strength and slip-resistant properties. ATMs, government buildings, and detention centers benefit from it being one of the strongest plastics to provide a high level of protection to these facilities.
With homeowners and businesses being more concerned about their security, Plexiglass’s use is becoming more popular. While it doesn’t get away much from feel and appearance, it is undeniably more durable and cheaper than glass. Considering that it shatters resistant, it offers an extra layer of protection that glass and other plastic materials can’t provide.
Bowling Green Mirror and Glass: We Are Your Source of Plexiglass
B.G. Mirror & Glass stock full sheets (4″ x 8″) of Plexiglass in both 1/8″ and 1/4″ thicknesses. We have sold several sheets to the City of Bowling Green, as well as to local businesses, including local rental companies. We have also done some custom cuts for our customers to any size. Contact us or visit our site to avail of high-quality Plexiglass today!