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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    49

    Default What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

    Hi All,

    I was just wondering if anyone knows what the difference is between acrylic and plexiglass.

    There seems to be a difference of opinion on the internet.


    1. The biggest difference is in their ductility, acrylic is "softer" than plexiglass and more forgiving under stress.


    2.They are the same thing. Plexiglass is just a trade name. In other words, it's just what they call it.


    Whose correct?


    Also, why isn't plexiglass or acrylic depending if there different used for windows in place of glass.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

    Acrylic glass, a generic term for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) hard clear plastic, commonly known by the brand names Plexiglas, Lucite, or Perspex. (from wikipedia)

    What you are probably hearing about is plexiglass vs. polycarbonate (brand name: Lexan) as these are often confused.

    polycarbonate is the one that is harder (used for bulletproof glass and football helmets, etc..)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

    As for the second part of you question.

    In industry both plexiglass and polycarbonate are used for machine guarding windows. The down side to both of them is that they are not as hard as glass so they scratch easier.

    I believe there may also be some issues with UV aging of these materials causing them to yellow with age and exposure (but I am not sure about that one).

    From my experience they are also harder to keep clean due to static build up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,197

    Default Re: What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

    There are commercially-available anti-static treatments for plexiglass.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

    A few years ago, The Chicago School Board wanted to re-glaze all the ground floor windows with Lexan, as their window repair bill was over 1 million dollars a year. The Chicago Fire Department nixed that idea - they would not be able to break the glazing to save kids! Chicago is particularly sensitive to school life safety , as in the 1950's, a fire at a school cost almost 100 children's lives.

    I am familiar with Plexiglas because it was invented in my wife's home town of Darmstadt, German, by Dr. Roehm of The Roehm and Hass Company. I have driven by the "birth" factory/labs many times.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

    Tony,

    Acrylic and plexiglass are the same. (Plexiglass is a brand).
    Polycarbonate and lexan are the same. (Lexan is a brand).

    Major differences: lexan is more resistant to chips, is harder, easier to cut, more bendable. Uses: CDs, computer cases, lenses, police shields, bulletproof dividers.

    Years ago I used a lot of plexi as glass substitute, but I never thought it was strong and durable. But it has many uses as well.

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