Perspex and Lexan
Are you looking for alternatives to glass for your home or business in Newcastle? Call Koala Glass for supply and installation of Acrylic or Polycarbonate throughout the Hunter, Maitland, Lake Macquarie, Nelson Bay and Morisset.
What Is Perspex and Acrylic?
Acrylic also known as Perspex is a polymer based plastic product, and can be used in a many applications. The most common are as a glass substitute in windows, in boat windscreens as it can be bent and moulded or protective covers on fly screen doors, for example
Acrylic is UV resistant and won’t yellow over time. Acrylic and Perspex is around 17x stronger than glass with a 98% visible light transmission but is far easier to scratch than glass but fine scratches can be polished out.
Acrylic is available in 3mm, 4.5mm, 6mm and 10mm, as well as a range of colour or tints.
What is Polycarbonate and Lexan?
Polycarbonate commonly referred to as Lexan is another type of polymer based plastic product, and the strongest option for glass alternatives around 250x stronger than glass while being 14x stronger than acrylic. Polycarbonate and Lexan is used in situations requiring near bullet proof resistance, or primarily used in machines.
Polycarbonate also has a 89% visible light transmission which is equivalent to standard window glass.
While being stronger than both glass and acrylic, Polycarbonate is the easiest to scratch and is far harder to polish to remove scratches.
Polycarbonate is available in 3mm, 4.5mm, 6mm and 10mm.
Working with Perspex and Lexan
Both Acrylic and Polycarbonate are lighter than glass and can be easily cut and drilled through.
While it is easy to cut and drill into these materials they have to be fully supported during the process, using a material like wood to support these materials while working with these materials is easiest as to allow the drill bit and saw blade to pass all the way through the material.
When drilling into acrylic or polycarbonate its best to drill a minimum of 30mm from the edges to prevent damaging the material.
Tools to work with Perspex and Polycarbonate
Polymer based plastic materials materials such as Perspex and Lexan can be worked with using common tools from jigsaws and hand drills as well as more specialised tools such as routers and panel saws.
For the best results when cutting its best to use carbide tipped negative rake saw blades and when drilling use a plastic suitable drill bit.