Acrylic and polycarbonate types are the most versatile types of glass solutions, capable of fitting in almost any environment due to their many functional features. They are robust, attractive, durable, and customizable.
Acrylic sheets have a plethora of uses including serving as shower doors, tabletops, walls, partitions, patio enclosures, and much more.
Polycarbonate glass also has a wide range of uses with its most popular applications being rain shelter fronts, bullet-resistant windows, storm-resistant windows, fireproof walls and windows, glass staircases, greenhouse glass, boutique fronts, bank counters, and more owing to its ability to withstand an immense amount of force or pressure.
There are a few cases in which both of the above archetypes can be used interchangeably such as in building aquariums.
Benefits of using Acrylic and polycarbonate glass
Before we examine the applications, let us look quickly at why they are so popular:
No glass type boasts the ability to withstand the amount of force polycarbonate glass can. This very aspect of invincibility is what makes it the prime choice for bullet-proof and blast-resistant applications. Forced entry will take an enormous amount of time and trouble which makes the average indecent person just steer clear of polycarbonate glass.
- Durability is nor questionable
These types are not just unbreakable, but they are also built to last. Even after years of being battered and weathered down, one polishing session makes them look as good as new.
- Safe breakdowns
On the rare occasion of them breaking, these types either break into millions of tiny harmless shards, or they do not shatter at all as the specially designed resin layer keeps the layers of glass melded together after they break.
- Better insulation
Polycarbonate glass in particular provides extremely well insulation reducing energy costs and your carbon footprint along with it.
- Higher Visible transmittance
Plexiglas sheets offer better illumination compared to normal glass allowing your rooms to stay bright longer in the day.
Different Applications of Plexiglas
- Shower doors
Acrylic glass is a widely used material for shower doors due to its versatile appearance and longevity: about the only two traits you look for in a shower door.
Tabletops need to be strong, easy to clean, and resistant to scratches. Plexiglass checks all of those boxes.
- Walls, dividers, and partitions
Acrylic sheets are perfect for glass walls and partitions. They are easily customizable and can be tailored to your liking without compromising on durability. You can buy stained acrylic sheets or apply V-grooving to them.
- Patio enclosures
Sturdy, durable, easy to clean, and appeasing to look at. The perfect choice for your patio enclosures.
- Boutique or storefronts
Quite possibly the most abused areas in retail shopping and hence seen as the most vulnerable. Plexiglass changes this mindset with it’s high clearness and elegance.
- Bulletproof windows/shields
The main selling point of all polycarbonate glass is its ability to undergo heavy punishment and emerge unscathed. There are multiple variants of different protection levels. The strongest ones can withstand a full spray down from an assault rifle and still refuse to give way.
- Blast-resistant/Storm-resistant glass
Both blasts and storms exert immense pressure on the surface of your glass. And considering windows are the only thing standing between your house and the raging storm outside, you need windows you can rely on.
- Fireproof glass
Polycarbonate is not only capable of withstanding large amounts of force, but also high temperatures. Some variants can hold their own against massive building fires for hours while keeping the other side cool enough for you to place your hand on it and feel nothing but a warm sensation.
- Glass stairs
Being unbelievably strong does not mean you can’t be unbelievably attractive. Polycarbonate glass is used in most contemporary setups to build elegant glass stairs which are way more durable than they look. In fact, the usual glass stairs made out of polycarbonate glass is stronger than a wooden stairs!
- Bank counters
Similar to what we discussed earlier, bank tellers need even more security than a boutique front and polycarbonate glass provides just that while slightly compromising on Visible transmittance. Although Acrylic glass is better suited to transparency and illumination, banks would much rather have an unbreakable wall between them than a clear glass.
- Greenhouse glass
Polycarbonate glass has relatively superior insulation than normal glass and can significantly cut down on the amount of energy needed to keep your greenhouse at optimal growing temperature. This also means that you will be able to extend your growing season longer than normal glass would allow you to.
There will often be situations in which both of these archetypes could apply and you may find yourself torn between the two. A good rule of thumb to remember is what characteristic you prioritize when looking for glass solutions. If it is transparency, illumination, and style, go for acrylic sheets. If it is invincibility, insulation, and protection you want, go for polycarbonate options.