Acrylic and polycarbonate sheets are commonly used in industrial applications. However, some people may use one type of plastic sheet and yet the other type may have been a better option for their project. This article discusses some of the reasons why it may be better for you to select acrylic instead of polycarbonate sheets for your application.
Ease of Laser Cutting
Laser cutting has become very popular among fabricators and manufacturers due to its numerous benefits that include speed and accuracy. Acrylic and polycarbonate sheets react differently to this cutting process. Polycarbonate turns yellow and shows burn marks when it is laser-cut. Acrylic remains unchanged when it undergoes laser-cutting. Thus, it is better to buy acrylic sheets in case you manufacturing facility has laser-cutting equipment.
More Colour Options
Polycarbonate sheets come in only few colour options. However, acrylic can easily blend with different colouring agents so that the sheets have varying hues, shades and colours. It is, therefore, better for you to opt for acrylic sheets if an aesthetic appeal is important to you and your product.
Polycarbonate sheets are generally more expensive when compared to the cost of buying acrylic sheets. The unit cost of producing a product will, therefore, be lower if you use acrylic instead of polycarbonate sheets. This will help to increase the competitiveness of your products on the market.
Acrylic sheets perform better when they are exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. However, polycarbonate slowly starts yellowing when it is exposed to UV light. It is, therefore, wiser for you to select acrylic sheets in case you manufacture products that will be used outdoors where frequent exposure to UV light is expected.
Better Light Transmission
Polycarbonate sheets transmit less light when compared to the amount of light that is transmitted through the acrylic. This makes acrylic to be a better choice for applications where light transmission is critical. Such applications include product displays, inspection windows and meter faces.
The advantages above notwithstanding, acrylic also has its weak points. For instance, polycarbonate can withstand higher temperatures when compared to acrylic. It is, therefore, advisable for you to talk to an expert so that you compare the pros and cons of each of those materials before you select the most appropriate one. That professional may reveal to you other types of plastic sheets, such as styrene and polypropylene, which may also be suitable for your project.