The properties of acrylic glass

Acrylic glass is a popular material that is used in a versatile way by craftsmen and do-it-yourselfers alike. Due to the properties of acrylic glass, there are numerous processing options for acrylic glass. Below you will find an overview of the properties of acrylic glass.

Acrylic glass, PMMA or Plexiglas

Acrylic glass is a plastic called "polymethyl methacrylate", PMMA for short. Colloquially, in addition to "acrylic glass" especially "Plexiglas" as a product name prevailed. However, Plexiglas is the brand name for acrylic glass from Evonik Röhm GmbH. However, a distinction is important in any case, since already in the case of Plexiglas products, properties of acrylic glass that differ slightly from one another can explicitly result.

Depending on the acrylic glass product slightly different properties

For example, Evonik Röhm GmbH offers cast (GS) and extruded (XT) Plexiglas. Evonik's extruded acrylic glass, for example, can be used for temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius, and for cast Plexiglas up to 80 degrees. In addition, the light transmittance of the cast Plexiglas is slightly better. So, if you choose a branded acrylic like Plexiglas, make sure to differentiate between the Plexiglas products.

The most important properties of PMMA

Otherwise, the most important properties of acrylic glass can be enumerated as follows:

  • high impact resistance
  • very high UV resistance
  • weather-resistant
  • Transparent, semi-transparent and non-transparent
  • in different colors, also fluorescent
  • very good and versatile processing properties (chemical, thermal, mechanical)
  • Heat permeability can be adjusted (by choosing appropriate plates)
  • Resistant to acids, medium alkalis, oil and gasoline, inorganic compounds
  • sensitive to solvents and substances of the following consistency: organic compounds, esters, ketones and chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds
  • 1.19 g / cm3 density

Because of these properties, acrylic glass is used in almost all areas of life and virtually every industry. Both indoors and outdoors you will find acrylic glass products. For outdoor applications, however, the effects of the properties must be considered.

The thermal expansion of acrylic glass

Thus, acrylic glass has a relatively high thermal expansion. An acrylic panel cut in summer at 25 degrees Celsius can contract in winter by six inches and more. In addition, acrylic glass also absorbs some water (which is already considered in the expansion). In addition, acrylic glass is permeable to gas.

Due to the above properties, acrylic glass should not be stored outdoors in direct sunlight. The resulting temperatures can reach well beyond 70 or 80 degrees. Uncontrolled deformations of the material would be the consequences.

Light transmission

Particularly noteworthy is the translucency. At 92 percent, this is even significantly higher than with glass. In general, the comparison between acrylic glass and glass is absolutely interesting, but show many positive properties that can not be set so difficult or expensive with glass.

machining techniques

When it comes to processing techniques, acrylic glass also does not set very many limits. During mechanical processing such as sawing or polishing acrylic glass, only plastic-typical properties should be taken into account so that best results can always be achieved.

Tips & Tricks

Of course you will also find advice in the house journal on how to process acrylic glass. We also treat the different processing techniques in detail and detail.

Pouring acrylic glass and resin

Of particular interest is the casting of acrylic glass. Because in addition to the acrylic glass products in solid form (plates, body), it can also be purchased liquid or brought into this state. When purchased products are usually water-based acrylic resin. It may, however, be liquid acrylic that has been dissolved in solvents. So you can solve it yourself and then use for casting, gluing or coating.

Other processing options

In addition, due to the properties of acrylic glass, you can change this state as often as you like. In addition, PMMA can also be welded, chemically bonded, mechanically bonded and formed or bent, as acrylic glass is a thermoplastic.

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