Plexiglas and acrylic glass - the difference

Plexiglas, acrylic glass or O-glass. In addition, names of different companies - and all mean the same thing: PMMA, a thermoplastic material, which is colloquially (of polymethyl methacrylate) derived as acrylic glass. Again and again, not only home improvement, where now really the differences between Plexiglas and acrylic glass are. Or is there ultimately none?

Plexiglas is acrylic glass, but not every acrylic is Plexiglas

The question of whether there are differences or not can be answered simply but certainly not conclusively satisfactorily: yes, there are differences, but no, there are no differences. In principle, the answer to this question is very simple: a Mercedes is a car, but not every car is a Mercedes. A Bosch rotary hammer is a hammer drill, but not every hammer drill is a Bosch hammer drill.

Is there a difference?

Plexiglas is nothing more than the note of Evonik Röhm GmbH for acrylic glass. You can basically say whether you are using a Tempo handkerchief or a "No Name" handkerchief to wipe up water - no difference. Nevertheless, there is of course a difference.

There is the difference in quality characteristics

This difference can be found above all in the quality. For example, Evonik Röhm GmbH gives a 10-year guarantee on Plexiglas. This will probably not be the case with cheap DIY acrylic glass. Although the differences may not be extremely serious, in terms of lifetime or machining quality, however, there are important differences.

Even Plexiglas is different

Plexiglas alone is available in two different versions:

  • Plexiglas GS: cast produced
  • Plexiglas XT: extruded

Alone, this results in differences in temperature sensitivity. The Plexiglas GS is at 80 degrees, at Plexiglas XT at only 70 degrees Celsius. In addition, extruded Plexiglas is better suited for serial industrial production, Plexiglas GS, however, for the individual processing of craftsmen or DIYers.

Plexiglas - a verifiable product

The bottom line is that with Plexiglas you get numerous and very detailed data concerning the properties of Plexiglas. For acrylic glass from the hardware store, whose manufacturer may be unknown anywhere in Asia, you never really know what's included (example, additives that can also be harmful to health).

If acrylic and plexiglass are supposed to be the same for consumers

That's something you should not underestimate. Again and again, the Internet is read by angry customers who believe that a seller wanted to exempt you, just because instead of conventional acrylic glass explicitly the more expensive Plexiglas was recommended. The statements of such consumers: acrylic glass and Plexiglas are the same.

Do not underestimate the quality characteristics of a branded product!

But if, for example, wall coverings or a poster frame in the child's room, which also hangs over the bed, the question should already be justified as to whether the "no-name" product can guarantee that no harmful exhalations will occur. Finally, many consumers are aware of the quality differences between a branded product and a copy of it.

Acrylic glass under other brand names

Of course, there are applications where it does not matter, whether you use the acrylic glass of an unknown manufacturer or Evonik. Nevertheless, you have the opportunity to purchase acrylic glass as a branded product from other established manufacturers:

  • Biacryl
  • Conacryl
  • Deglas
  • Friacryl
  • Hesaglas
  • Limacryl
  • acrylic glass
  • vitroflex

If you require very specific product characteristics of acrylic glass, the suppliers of these branded products can also provide you with corresponding data sheets.

Tips & Tricks

It does not always have to be acrylic glass. Other thermoplastics also have excellent properties. Depending on individual requirements, their properties can even be an advantage over acrylic glass. Under Alternatives to Plexiglas, we have put together a list of other thermoplastics in which the attributes of other plastics or thermoplastics are illuminated. By the way, O-glass is the abbreviation for "organic glass". Among them, acrylic glass was known especially in the former GDR. The former manufacturer, the nitrogen plant Piesteritz, also owns the brand name "Piacryl".

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