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What's the difference between polycarbonate and Acrylic

Acrylic and polycarbonate are two of the most popular sheet plastics used throughout the world. From milk bottle to doors, both types of plastics are found in many household products. Both materials come in a variety of colors and can be ordered with special coatings to suit specific needs.


Acrylic has 17 times the impact resistance of glass and weighs half as much, making it a good alternative for covering areas where weight is an issue. Acrylic also has better clarity than glass, with a light transmittance of 92 percent. This plastic sheet can be used at temperatures ranging from -30℃to 190℃. Acrylic may not be as rigid as glass but it's more rigid than polycarbonate and costs less than glass.


Polycarbonate has 250 times the impact resistance of glass making it extremely strong. It’s also half the weight of glass and has a light transmittance of 88 percent for clear colour, Like acrylic. However, polycarbonate can handle temperatures up to 240℃. Polycarbonate is also highly resistant to chemicals such as gasoline and acids and tends to cost extra 10%-20% as much as acrylic.


Acrylic has a low chemical resistance; when cleaning acrylic, it is best to use only mild soap and water. Polycarbonate has a higher chemical resistance than acrylic; it can be cleaned by harsher cleaners containing chemicals such as ammonia. Neither plastic should be cleaned with solvents.


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