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Oct 2018

Cast and Extruded Acrylic Sheets

Cast and Extruded Acrylic Sheets - Cast-vs-Extruded-2-01.webp

Acrylic sheets are manufactured by two different production processes, Cast and Extruded. Acrylic polymers are synthetic materials that are formed by a chemical reaction between a monomer and a catalyst.

Acrylic is 50% lighter in weight as compared to glass and 10 times impact-resistant, also gives better transparency. Acrylic is safer, cost-effective and can be molded in different shapes based on the requirement. It can be tinted, colored, mirrored and can be made opaque. Different Coatings can be applied on the sheet to improve scratch resistance, glare reduction, anti-fogging, and solar reflection.

Cast acrylic, as the name suggests, is produced in casts or moulds with acrylic raw materials and chemicals (MMA and catalysts). The mould is made from 2 panes of clear float glass and silicone edging to create an air gap based on the thickness to be produced. Then PMMA (Poly Methyl Methacrylate) liquid is poured into the mound through a small gap. Based on the thickness, the correct weight of PMMA is poured in, so for a 2.8mm sheet in 1220x2440mm size, 9.9kg of material is poured in. The density of acrylic is 1.19kg/cm3, 9.9kg = 1.22×2.44×2.8×1.19.

The casting process of making acrylic is more labour intensive, making it a longer process than Extruded acrylic sheets. It offers the best optical clarity, greater thermal stability and higher resistance when exposed to solvents. The versatility of the material, availability in a wide range of colors, surfaces and ease of fabrication enable designers to come up with very creative ideas.

Extruded Acrylic sheets are produced by a continuous manufacturing process through a long machine called an Extruder, where acrylic PMMA pellets are first heated then pushed through barrels where the chemical process occurs. Extruded acrylic is heterogeneous, and its properties vary depending on the direction of extrusion. Extruded acrylic costs less than cast and its thickness is consistent across the sheet, unlike cast sheets that have a slightly variable thickness in a single sheet.

Acrylic sheets are used for displays, signage, furniture, structural glazing, light domes, caravan windows and many other applications. Acrylic sheets from reliable and well-known manufacturers maintain their optical properties for several years and are suitable for the construction and signage industries.

The demand for Acrylic is driven by the growing demand for lightweight materials from the automotive, aerospace, construction, and furniture industries. With only a handful of raw material suppliers, and the growing demand in the market, the Acrylic Industry is facing price volatility. Even with the fluctuating price points in the market, we aim to bring the finest Acrylic sheets at the best price to our customers.

Get in touch to know more about the broad range of standard and custom colors of Acrylics and their different applications.

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