When you’re looking for a material to use for your commercial windows, you have a wide array of options at your fingertips. While it may feel natural to associate glass with windows, acrylic plastic (also known as plexiglass) is a material that can be fit into various shapes and sizes, and it’s hard to compete with its durability and clarity.
Let’s look at both materials to help you make your final decision.
Plexiglass: The Advantages
Glass is clear, solid, and can be fit specific dimensions. This might make it seem like the obvious option, but today, there are plastics that stand up to the test of time. Furthermore, they offer some of the benefits as glass without the increased weight and with more durability.
One advantage to plexiglass is that it is easier to work with than heavy glass. It can be quickly and easily installed while remaining less prone to breaking and damage than its counterpart. For those working with commercial windows, this can prove to be an essential differentiator when choosing a material.
Plexiglass is almost more pliable than glass and has more “bounce.” It does not crack as easily as glass, meaning that less caution needs to be used during the installation process. Even when under high impact, plexiglass does not shatter like glass does. If your plexiglass windows were to break, dull-edged pieces would result instead of the dangerous sharp shards created when glass breaks.
Additionally, if you are attempting to find commercial windows to fit an existing aesthetic, plexiglass may be your solution. It can come in several different colors to suit your design needs, meaning you don’t need to change existing decor to create a cohesive look.
Finally, plexiglass can withstand severe storm conditions more easily than glass, which may ultimately help you make your final decision. If strength is something you can’t compromise on, plexiglass windows are the answer.
Plexiglass: The Drawbacks
Plexiglass cannot withstand abrasive cleaners. A clean rag or cloth is all that is recommended to clean plexiglass, as standard chemical cleaners can damage or corrode the actual material. In this respect, glass can be a more viable alternative. However, with the right products, it is easy to clean and maintain your acrylic windows.
Glass: The Drawbacks
First and foremost, the main disadvantage of glass is its fragility. Depending on the project, glass may not provide the kind of structural integrity needed—especially if your windows need to be able to withstand the impact of storms or simply need to be durable to withstand the test of time. Additionally, glass is much denser than plexiglass, making it much heavier than a piece of acrylic plastic with the same dimensions. If you’re looking for easy transport, plexiglass is the right material for you.
Plexiglass vs. Glass: Which is Best
While glass continues to remain synonymous with items such as windows polymers like plexiglass offer significant improvements to the various applications it can be used for when compared to glass. Strong, highly transparent, and light-weight, acrylic-plastic provides a better alternative to projects that would otherwise call for glass. Available in many different finishes, plexiglass is a must-have for updated, modern commercial windows.