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Acrylic: The Versatile Transparent Glass Substitute

Did you know that acrylic plastic was heavily used during World War II? This tough and shatterproof material was used for making gun turrets, periscopes, canopies and a lot of other stuff during the war. Today, acrylic is the preferred choice for manufacturing a wide range of products, such as aquarium tanks, display cases, helmet visors, protective shields at ice rinks, and even viewing ports on submarines.

Acrylic is a highly versatile material with many distinct advantages which certainly make it as good as glass and maybe even better than it, says an expert at Premier Ship Models, a company reputed for its ship model display cases. Here are the best features of this synthetic polymer.

High Impact Resistance

This material has a tensile strength of more than 10,000 lbs. per square inch which makes it 6 to 17 times more impact resistant than glass. Acrylic generally doesn’t break even under a high impact. And, even if it does, it won’t get shattered into tiny pieces like glass. The pieces formed in case acrylic fractures would be large and dull-edged which wouldn’t cause any safety issues. This is why this material is preferred for making sliding glass doors and bath enclosures.

Easy to Shape

Acrylic is a thermoplastic. So, on being heated, it softens and becomes malleable. It can then be easily moulded into a variety of shapes and forms, which it retains as it cools down. After that, one can saw or drill into it just like wood. For shaping the material wooden or plastic moulds can be used. This makes the fabrication process highly cost-effective.

Much Lighter than Glass

One of the biggest advantages of acrylic over glass is that despite being far stronger than glass, it is 50% lighter. Due to this reason, acrylic display boxes are very easy to handle and shoes, nails and dentures made from the material are extremely comfortable. Acrylic is also the substance used for making most of the composite dental fillings.

High and Long-lasting Transparency

Acrylic is as transparent as glass and provides the same aesthetic appearance. And, as it ages, it retains this transparency with very little yellow tinting. This is very important in applications where there is significant exposure to sunlight. Being much more fade-resistant than other plastic based glass substitutes and offering the same level of light transmittance as the fragile glass, it is ideal for making display cubes, frames & shelves.

Easy Maintenance

Like every other material, Acrylic requires regular cleaning. But, this is an easy-to-maintain material due to it being super-tough. To clean your acrylic display cases, bath enclosures or sliding doors, all you need is a wet microfiber towel and some soapy water. The material continues to look new and polished with minimal effort on your part.

Glass might be slightly better than acrylic in terms of appearance, but if we take durability and cost-effectiveness into account, acrylic surely wins. If you’re into scale modelling, it would be a great idea to get a quality acrylic display case for your models from a reputed scale modelling company.


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