Which Plastic Should You Choose

Acrylic sheeting and Polycarbonate sheeting are not the same. So how do you choose the right material for the job? Luckily while they look similar, their properties are very different. Here's what you need to know.

Acrylic v polycarbonate - An overview of the differences

Both materials feature impressive impact resistance. Both compare well with glass, making good glass alternatives. And they both weigh less than half the weight of glass.

When you can use polycarbonate combined with acrylic

Polycarbonate is your ideal composite material for things like bulletproof glass and riot shields. Its high impact strength and high light transmission make it ideal for greenhouses. Acrylic, like polycarbonate, has very high light transmission, but is also extremely scratch resistant. This makes it ideal for optical devices, being safer and stronger than glass.

They can also be used in conjunction, for example in shop windows made from layers of acrylic and polycarbonate, in situations where scratch resistance matters just as much as safety and strength. You might, for example, make a shop window from outer layers of acrylic fused around an inner layer of polycarbonate.

Popular uses for acrylic sheet

Knowing its uses is often the easiest way to decide which material you need. Here are some of the most popular uses for acrylic plastic sheets.

Popular uses for polycarbonate sheet

Here are some of the commonest uses for polycarbonate sheeting.

Polycarbonate versus acrylic - The differences in cost

Polycarbonate is more expensive than acrylic, approximately 45% more than our acrylic prices. However this additional cost does guarantee you the strongest plastic we have available.

The best material for kitchen splashbacks and bathroom splashbacks?

Colourful contemporary splashbacks are all the rage. But you need to take care in hot places.

Don't use acrylic sheeting behind or too near to a gas or electric cooker, hob, open fire, wood burner, Rayburn, Aga or any other source of heat. If the area is likely to get hotter than 160°C it can damage the acrylic, so we advise against it. Why not check out our beautiful range of glass instead?

If you have an induction or electric hob, you can fit a continuous acrylic splashback along the entire wall as long as you make sure there's a minimum 50mm gap between the hob and the panel. The panels are 300cm long, so if the wall is any longer you'll need a second panel. But if your gas hob cooker runs along the wall where you want the kitchen splashbacks to go, you'll need to fit a special toughened glass splashbacks.

Acrylic versus glass

Polycarbonate versus glass

Unusual and creative uses for our plastics

One of our customers got creative with acrylic sheet, replacing a dangerous glass tabletop with something safer, lighter and tougher. It's far better for his autistic grandson, who had broken the original glass top and was lucky not to be injured.

Any questions?

We're always happy to point you in the right direction. If you would like help deciding which product to buy for your project, call or email our expert team for fast, friendly answers.

We're Here to Help

Our Customer Service Team is available Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

Rated 4.7/5 on Feefo

Helpful presales and quick delivery. Measured really caeefully and was delivered mm perfectly to spec. Nice replacement overlay for my leaking shower.
great thanks
We contacted them by phone for advice on the thickness of the acrylic we would need. They were very helpful and the product is just right. Great service. The acrylic was very well wrapped and arrived quickly.
Good value.Came securely packaged,and promptly.

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