DIFFERENCES BETWEEN METHACRYLATE AND POLYCARBONATE


One of the most frequently asked questions is which material is better and how methacrylate (or acrylic glass) differs from polycarbonate because they are similar in appearance. Well, both one and the other are materials that can be adapted to our projects, the important thing when choosing one of them, are the differences in the properties of each material because they are not only in terms of the final finish, but can also limit or expand the uses of the finished object. Let's see below some values ​​that will help you decide which material to choose.

• If we talk about impact resistance, compared to a nobler material such as glass, the differences are notable. Methacrylate or PMMA is 17 times stronger, but not so much scratches, you have to keep it away from metallic elements. Polycarbonate up to 250 times more, is practically unbreakable.

• When we talk about transparency index, there are also slight nuances. In fact, the battle here is won by the PMMA, allowing 92.7% of the light to pass through. Polycarbonate stays below with an index of 88%.

• Regarding temperature, the use of methacrylate is recommended up to 90 degrees. In contrast, polycarbonate can withstand temperatures up to 120 degrees in continuous use.

• Although the resistance and previous factors do not seem so, methacrylate is more rigid. This has advantages, but also disadvantages depending on the use that will be given. It should be considered that it is very light compared to glass and easy to handle, similar to wood. It weighs 60% less than glass.

• Although it depends on specific products, in general polycarbonate offers better resistance to some solvents and methacrylate to oils and slightly alkaline products.

• The resistance to chemical agents and fire, one of the strong points of polycarbonate is that it delays the flame and does not emit toxic fumes, is other advantages of methacrylate that is easy to burn but does not produce any toxic gas.

• Regarding costs, historically polycarbonate was much more expensive but at present the prices are very similar for what the user must choose for their properties and adaptation to their application.

• If we refer to ease of handling, methacrylate is easier to handle and cut, but above all to fold hot and stick. On the other hand, thin polycarbonate thicknesses can be folded cold, being very useful for adapting to curved surfaces.

• An important difference in favor of methacrylate is the resistance to aging, it can be used in outdoor applications without problems, it has a greater resistance to damage that can cause weathering (protection against UV rays and chemicals) so it is considered the most resistant colorless plastic, whose passage of time does not lose transparency or yellow the material. On the contrary, polycarbonate requires a special outdoor quality with a UV barrier and its life will be more limited.

• Methacrylate is certified for food use so it can be in contact with food.

• Also methacrylate is a great thermal insulator as acoustic.

 

A good way to distinguish both materials with the naked eye, will be observing the singing of the plates. Methacrylate has a transparent edge while in the case of Polycarbonate, the edge is grayish and darker

In conclusion, although there is a big difference between methacrylate and polycarbonate, the truth is that depending on the project to be executed and its application, sometimes it will be better to resort to one or the other material.