Whether formed by casting or extrusion, acrylic polymers are synthetic materials that result from a chemical reaction between a monomer and a catalyst. Often substituted for glass, acrylic, also called plexiglass or lucite is lighter in weight by up to 50% with greater transparency.

Liquid ingredients mix in glass molds to form Cast Acrylic. Casting is more labor intensive, making it more expensive. Casting yields a harder, sturdier, and more homogenous product. Casting lends greater chemical resistance over extrusion, making it the preferred material for uses involving fragrance, lotions, or other solvents. Available in a broad range of standard and custom colors for a variety of applications, cast acrylic is more pliable than extruded, less likely to bend, chip, or melt during milling.  Because extruded material is limited in thickness, cast acrylic is a better option for larger structures, installations, etc.

Benefits of Cast Acrylic Benefits of Extruded Acrylic
  • Greater range of thickness up to 4" including those produced as bullet resistant
  • Lightweight and rigid
  • Low water absorption
  • Excellent optical properties
  • Good electrical and UV resistivity
  • Outstanding resistance to long-term exposure to sunlight and weathering
  • Thermoformable
  • Less expensive than glass or cast acrylic
  • Excellent optical properties
  • More impact resistant than glass
  • Good electrical and UV resistivity

Extrusion is a continuous manufacturing production method where acrylic monomers are first heated then fed through barrels where the chemical process occurs. As a result, extruded acrylic is heterogeneous with properties that may vary depending upon the direction of extrusion.

Extruded acrylic costs less than cast and is more dimensionally stable, meaning the thickness is more consistent across sheets. Softer, with a lower melting temperature than in its cast form, extruded acrylic is easier to laser cut, rout, and polishes more cost-effectively. Scratched glass is a lost cause, but because acrylic, both cast and extruded can be polished, it is more durable option for multiple applications. Extruded acrylic is less susceptible to dirt, lint, or particulate contamination in the production process. Additionally, because of its lower melting point, it is better suited to cementing and thermoforming.

Which product best suits your needs? Talk to our sales professionals for additional information.

Available in a broad range of standard and custom colors, let ACME PLASTICS be your one stop plastics center for any brand, any shape, any product. ACME has a proud heritage of customer service and reliability since 1943. Our expansive warehouse and manufacturing facility combined with experienced personnel assure that you receive the service and prices that you deserve.