When to Use Acrylic Sheets Rather Than Glass

Acrylic and glass may look very similar to you, but the materials are actually very different. In some areas, it may be beneficial to use acrylic where you would expect to find glass, such as for windows and even picture frames. Note when it's good to choose acrylic sheets rather than glass for your home, office, storefront, and other such applications.

1. Vibrations

Acrylic has a higher impact resistance rating than glass, so it should be used where heavy vibrations may be a factor. Glass can shatter from vibrations even if nothing comes into contact with it, whereas acrylic will withstand stronger vibrations. For any storefront or facility near production areas that have heavy trucks coming through or machinery that produces high vibration, acrylic is a better choice for windows than glass. Acrylic can also be preferred in earthquake zones for the same reason.

2. Graffiti and other such damage

Acrylic can actually be polished back to its original appearance if it's been scratched or etched. This can make it a good choice if your storefront or business is in an area where you might experience graffiti or vandals scratching the front of the acrylic face. Rather than having to replace glass panes, you can have acrylic buffed and polished as necessary.

This can also be a consideration in buildings with traffic that might damage glass windows; in a warehouse, forklifts and hand trucks might rub up against glass and scratch it. In a hospital setting, I.V. stands and beds might also rub up against glass as patients are being rushed from one area to another. By using acrylic, you can have those panes buffed and polished regularly so they look like new again.

3. Artwork and photos

Glass can sometimes adhere to the paper on photos and especially in humid environments. If you've ever taken a picture out of a frame after some months or years and had the photo peel because it was stuck to the glass pane, you know this to be true. Glass can also obscure artwork; because of its iron content, glass often has a brown or greenish tinge that can interfere with the colors of art. Acrylic, however, doesn't stick to paper and allows for more light to pass through because it doesn't have this iron content and resultant tinge. For displaying art and for keeping important photos safe when in a frame, acrylic can be the better choice over glass.