Looking for a beginner-friendly guide to help you choose the best acrylic for custom acrylic plastic fabrication projects? This article will help you uncover five tips for selecting the right acrylic for your custom plastic fabrication process, as well as some tips for finding the best acrylic fabrication supplier in your city.
Acrylic, also known by names like Plexiglas, Yearlong, Plaskolite, etc., is one of most frequently used synthetic materials used in the residential as well as industrial sectors in the making of window panes, different types of furniture, photo frames, in-house aquariums, etc. With so many different types of acrylics and suppliers available in the market, it is important to choose the one that offers multiple benefits, all while keeping your budget to the minimum. The list below mentions four tips for choosing the best acrylic for plastic fabrication.
- Know the different types of acrylics available in the market
Plexiglas, Yearlong, Plaskolite, etc., are some of the most popular names of acrylics that you will come across in the market. However, you must note that all of these different types of acrylics available in the market are made from the same components, i.e., the raw materials used in the manufacturing of these acrylics are the same. But since all of these different types of acrylics are made of the same components, why do they differ in quality? The reason is simple: because of the cooling rollers used in the making of extruded acrylic.
Broadly, all the different types of acrylics available for custom plastic fabrication in the market can be classified into two groups, i.e., cast and extruded acrylics. Although an unsaturated ester known as methyl methacrylate or MMA is the primary product used in the manufacturing of both cast and extruded acrylic, the melted MMA is passed through a cooling roller to form extruded acrylic, which causes the surface to look glossy. Both these acrylics have different physical properties, like melting and boiling point, electrical resistance, thickness, dye properties, etc. Cast acrylic sheets are known for possessing greater resistance than their extruded counterparts because of higher thickness. Therefore, you must choose the right type of acrylic that fits your needs and demands for custom plastic fabrication projects.
- Check for surface hardness and scratch resistance
If you look through articles on how to choose the best acrylic for different projects, you will be told to check the thickness of the sheets. This, however, is not required, as the thickness of the sheet has little to do with the quality of the acrylic. If you’re in search of thicker acrylic sheets, you should go for cast acrylic since they are available in sheets of greater thickness. Although multiple companies offer leading acrylic fabrication in Abu Dhabi and other parts of the United Arab Emirates, you must go for the one that understands and fits your demands the best. The greater thickness of cast acrylic doesn’t mean that it has better surface hardness and scratch resistance than extruded acrylic. Both these qualities must be determined separately, as materials manufactured from an acrylic sheet of higher surface hardness and scratch resistance tend to last longer. Since acrylic sheets made without using cooling rollers can possess a higher variation in their thickness than their extruded counterparts, plastic fabrication projects made using this kind of acrylic last for a long time and offer higher surface hardness and resistance to scratches.
- Resistivity to solvents and other materials
Since the synthetic material is used in the manufacturing of different components in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, you must determine whether the material provided by your acrylic fabrication supplier is resistant to organic and inorganic solvents, as well as dust particles. Furniture, window panes, in-house aquariums, corporate gifts, vehicle branding, sign boards, printing, etc., all require acrylic in their manufacturing, and acrylic sheets that are resistant to commonly found organic and inorganic solvents will help create better quality products. Not only has that, but the colour of these sheets also played an important role in their overall appearance. Different types of acrylic sheets behave differently in the light. This interaction has mainly to do with the colour of the acrylic sheet, as sheets of lighter colours will reflect more light than the ones with darker tones. For the manufacturing of products like windows and aquariums, acrylics of lighter shades are preferred because of their transparency and ability to reflect more light. With these points in mind, you can choose the right acrylic for your plastic fabrication project.
- Easy to use and maintain :-
Plastic fabrication requires acrylic to be transformed into different shapes, sizes, thicknesses, colours, etc. Therefore, you must choose acrylic, which is easier to mold into different shapes and is available in different colours. Since these sheets can easily break upon disturbances, you must look for companies that provide acrylic laser cutter service in UAE to help you fabricate different products easily. If you are looking for variation in the colour, going for cast acrylic would be the wiser choice since they’re available in many different colours, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking and getting scratches easily. Not only that, but it can also be fabricated into different shapes, offers decent resistivity towards organic and inorganic solvents, and is easier to clean and maintain.
This ends our list of the top four tips to choose the right acrylic for your plastic fabrication project. As mentioned, all the different types of acrylics that you see in the market are made of the same polymer, i.e., methyl methacrylate. Broadly, these acrylics can be classified into two major groups: cast acrylics and extruded acrylics. Both these groups of acrylics have different physical properties, such as resistivity towards chemicals, solvents, paint, and ink. Not only that, but they also differ in their melting and boiling points, thickness, surface hardness, colour, and lustre. We hope that this article helped you get some insights on how to choose the right acrylic for your next plastic fabrication project.