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What Is Cast Acrylic?

Plastics are highly versatile and effective at many things, but not all plastics are created equal. To choose the right plastic product for your application, you must first understand the differences between the various products out there. At Piedmont Plastics, our highly trained sales team is ready to help you find the right product for your needs, but we also want to provide you with the right information. This series takes a closer look at some of our more popular products, so you can decide what is right for you. First, let’s consider cast acrylic.

How Is Cast Acrylic Made?

Acrylic is a synthetic plastic created by a chemical reaction between a catalyst and a monomer, resulting in a lightweight and transparent plastic product. Acrylic has higher optical clarity than glass and is as much as 10 times more shatter resistant than glass. Acrylic is also highly UV resistant.

There are a couple of different types of acrylic sheet available, and cast acrylic is the best quality option. This product is made by pouring the liquid ingredients into a glass mold, where it hardens into a strong sheet. This is in contrast to extrusion, which pushes the liquid through an extruder and rollers to create a similar sheet. The process of casting creates a hard, sturdy, and uniform plastic sheet.

Benefits of Cast Acrylic Sheet

Is cast acrylic right for your application? To decide, you must understand its benefits.

First, cast acrylic has a higher resistance when exposed to solvents than other types of acrylic, so it is a good choice for environments that use strong chemicals. This type of acrylic also has a slightly greater thermal stability, making it the go-to choice for high-temperature environments.

The casting process allows cast acrylic options that are thicker than extruded acrylic. This makes cast acrylic the preferred choice for impact-resistant applications, such as bullet-resistant and security applications. It offers the best optic clarity among acrylics and is available in a wide range of colors.

Because of the way cast acrylic is made sheet by sheet, instead of extruding multiple sheets at once, buyers can make custom orders with much smaller minimums. The strength of this material means it machines and laser cuts well with no stress to the sheet.

Drawbacks of Cast Acrylic Sheet

Like all plastic materials, cast acrylic does have some drawbacks. The primary drawback is the cost. It is more expensive to create than other similar products, like extruded acrylic. However, when your application demands increased strength and durability, it is the right choice.

Common Applications for Cast Acrylic

Cast acrylic is used in many applications where you need transparency and also strength. Some of these include:

Basically, anywhere you need a strong, impact-resistant, clear plastic or a more durable replacement for glass, cast acrylic will meet the need.

Are you considering cast acrylic for your next project? Reach out to the team at Piedmont for expert guidance. Let us help you plan a successful product or project, starting with the right materials.