Renowned worldwide as a superior alternative to glass, Perspex is a clear plastic material with a wide range of properties and potential applications. Though many people know the name ‘Perspex’, it is actually not the name of the material at all, but rather a manufacturing brand. What we know as Perspex is actually ‘Polymethyl methacrylate’, but for rather obvious reasons it is often shortened to simply acrylic.
Chances are you have heard of acrylic plastic but never knew that Perspex and acrylic were one in the same. In fact acrylic plastic is known by a number of other trade names, such as ‘ Plexiglas’, ‘Acrylite’ and ‘Lucite’ to name but a few.
Perspex is often compared to glass because it can do so many of the things that glass can do, but also does other things better. For instance, if you have a perspex acrylic sheet and an equally sized pane of glass, the perspex would be approximately 10 times stronger and damage resistant, but also half the weight and just as clear; so you can see why acrylic is generally considered to be the superior material.
A second material that Perspex is often compared to is Polycarbonate, another type of plastic. Polycarbonate is 20 times stronger than acrylic and about as transparent, but it’s also much more expensive and exposure to UV light will tarnish it over time unless it is treated. Having said that, the two materials are equally as lightweight as one another, and depending on the situation the two can be used interchangeably.
Though it is not as rugged as polycarbonate, the strength and resilience of Perspex acrylic should not be underestimated, and to prove this here are a few examples of where you might find acrylic plastic being used:
- Ice hockey spectator barriers
- Windows on submersible vessels
- Aviation windows
- Riot control vehicles
- Transparent roofing
You could use the Perspex acrylic sheets that we offer on Cut Plastic Sheeting to create all of these things if you wanted to, but typically the cut to size Perspex Sheets we offer are used to complete a variety of different DIY projects, from replacing shed windows and installing secondary glazing to creating works of art and building greenhouses.
The reason why Perspex is such a popular DIY material is that, in addition to all of its other benefits, acrylic is an incredibly easy material to work with. It can be cut and drilled using common household tools, and it is not difficult to bend the material or attach two sheets together if you felt inclined to do so. Visit our gallery to see examples of some of the DIY projects that our customers have completed and if you want to learn more about how to work with Perspex acrylic sheets please visit our blog.
Though it is widely known and thought of as a purely transparent material, Perspex sheets can also be found in a range of different colours and finished. What’s more, coloured Perspex comes in both opaque and translucent sheets which makes them practical for an even wider range of applications than you might have initially presumed. To learn more about our coloured acrylic sheets and to see all the colours that we have available, please visit our website or feel free to contact us by phone, email or over the chat on our site.