Transparent, translucent and opaque plastic sheets can offer more practical, and sometimes more economical, alternatives to glass; the most common of these is acrylic.

While trade names, such as Perspex and Plexiglas, are in common use, it is perhaps better to use the generic label since these, and all similar products, are derived from acrylic acid. While their cost may make them impractical as an alternative to float glass in conventional applications, when specialist glasses are required acrylic – based products are often viable.

Acrylic is particularly useful because it is easy to bend and therefore better than glass for curved shapes.  Although it is softer than glass and therefore more susceptible, marks may be removed by polishing or surface heating.It can be easily shaped, and components can be joined by heat or solvents.


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