Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
tonyc56
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.

jhoyt
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..)

jhoyt
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.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: What is the difference between acrylic and plexiglass

There are commercially-available anti-static treatments for plexiglass.
Casey

ordjen
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.

dj1
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.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.