Cast and Extruded Acrylic: Mini Guide

Clear acrylic sheets are rapidly becoming a popular alternative to glass in home and commercial environments. It offers much better flexibility, lighter weight and strength than flat glass, making it an excellent material to use when safety is a concern. There are two main types of clear acrylic, which is the most popular alternative to glass. There are molded acrylic and extruded acrylic. What is the difference between the two?
The main difference between cast and colored plexiglass extruded acrylics lies in the way the skin is made. This allows you to make the material more suitable for your particular application. Cast acrylic sheets are made by pouring acrylic resin into a mold, resulting in a skin with high strength and transparency, and uneven thickness. Cast acrylic is also excellent in impact resistance, chemical resistance, and thermal stability. Although more expensive than extruded clear acrylic, cast acrylic is a reliable material choice for glazing applications such as skylights and boat windows, and is also ideal for thermoforming and complex machine manufacturing.
Pressed acrylic is the cheapest of the two and is manufactured by pressing resin on the production line. This results in a very uniform skin suitable for general purposes and homemade applications. Although less strong than cast acrylic, extruded acrylic sheets are much more impact resistant than glass, weigh half, and won’t tear if broken. Many greenhouses and garden homes are reglassed with extruded acrylic because of their resistance to breakage and less maintenance required. In fact, both cast and extruded acrylics only require a small amount of soap and warm water to clean the surface of the skin, and a soft cloth should be used to prevent scratches.