Thursday, August 5, 2010

Plexiglass - The Clear Choice

Plexiglass refers to a type of transparent thermoplastic. Chemically, plexiglass or Poly(methyl methacrylate) is a polymer of methyl methacrylate. It is also known as acrylic or PMMA. The material was first developed in the 1920’s and was released in the market in the 1930’s. It is usually used as a substitute to glass. It is generally given preference, due to its moderate properties, easy processing and handling, as well as low cost. However, it behaves in a brittle fashion when loaded, particularly under an impact force. For producing one kg of plexiglass around two kg of petroleum is required. It ignites at around 460 °C and burns, producing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water as well as low molecular weight compounds, such as formaldehyde.

The material is generally used for construction of residential as well as commercial aquariums. The magnificent size of flat panels as well as tunnels in aquariums like Monterey Bay, Osaka, Dubai Aquariums, Nagoya and Tokyo Sea Life Park, were made possible only through plexiglass sheets. It is commonly used for automobile headlight lens It is also used in ice hockey rinks as protectionfor spectators, as well as Motorcycle helmet visors. Apart from that, it is also used in police vehicles that are used for riot control, as well as viewing ports and complete hulls of submersibles, like the viewing spheres of Alicia submarine and Bathyscaphe Trieste's windows. In addition to this, it is also widely used for making aircraft transparencies as well as certain lighthouse lenses.

Plexiglass has many features. Its material quality is very good and it is long lasting. Plexiglass has excellent light transmittance power. It has a high mechanical strength. It has qualities like light-weight, good resistance to weather and corrosion, good insulation characteristics and is easy to be processed. It is also non-toxic and chemical resistant in nature. These sheets can be used for the certain strength requirements of the transparent structures. This plexiglass can also be used in making appliances, furnishings, instrument parts, optical lenses and decorative items etc. Now this material is widely used in advertising light box, sign boards and handicrafts etc.

Plexiglass has the wide range of applications. Presently the plexiglass sheets are used in many industries like advertisement industry, furniture industry, handicraft industry and toys industry etc. In the advertising and merchandising industries it is used signs, sign board, logos, counter displays and pop displays. In furniture industry it is used in making the office furniture, cabinet and bath cabinet etc. It has also a wide range of applications in the finishing materials industry. It is used in making decorative sheets, storage racks and room segments etc..

Apart from the abovementioned, plexiglass sheets have several other advantages and that explains its popularity in the modern times.