Acrylic is an incredibly useful plastic for applications requiring transparency where high impact resistance is not an issue. Acrylic is very scratch resistant compared to other clear plastics. It is a lighter alternative to glass and an economic substitute for polycarbonate in applications where strength is not a crucial factor. It can be cut into extremely fine shapes using laser cutting technology because the material vaporizes upon impact with the concentrated laser energy.
Acrylic is available in sheet stock and round stock, making it a good candidate for subtractive machining processes on a mill or lathe. A wide variety of colors are usually available. Acrylic sheets are also available in certain fluorescent colors. Sometimes these are referred to as “edge lit”. The color of the sheet is not as apparent when looking directly at the sheet, but the color really pops along the edges, almost looking like it is being illuminated, even though there is no light source.
What are the Properties of Acrylic?
|Technical Name||Acrylic (PMMA)|
|Melt Temperature||130°C (266°F) ***|
|Typical Injection Mold Temperature||79-107°C (175-225°F) ***|
|Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)||95°C (203°F) at 0.46 MPa (66 PSI) **|
|Tensile Strength||65 MPa (9400 PSI) ***|
|Flexural Strength||90 MPa (13000 PSI) ***|
|Shrink Rate||0.2 – 1% (.002 – .01 in/in) ***|