FAQs regarding acrylic and polycarbonate

Is it possible to polish scratched motorcycle windshields and wind deflectors?

The answer is not clear. Some can, some can not be polished. Most of the windshields can not be polished as they are made of different materials (injection press material) than “common“ acrylic. Some shields are made of polycarbonate containing styrene that makes the shields more difficult to polish. Great influence on future polishing quality results have your care and maintenance. If inappropriate cleaning solution containing alcohol is used polishing is virtually impossible as alcohol causes material fragility and the shields often crack.


What format should I send in my custom manufacturing price request?

All requests for custom manufacturing should be followed with picture or drawing of desired product to avoid miscommunication. We can process these formats:

  • .dwg a .dxf - Auto Cad
  • .ai - Adobe Ilustrator
  • .jpg - picture

What is achievable radius in acrylic and polycarbonate cold bending?

Acrylic

Bending radius that material safely withstands is calculated with this formula:

R [mm]= l[mm] * 330, where l = material thickness;

Examples of use:

5mm thick acrylic: R = 5 * 330 = 1650mm (circle diameter of 3300mm). 5mm thick acrylic can be bent without damage into radius of R=1650mm or in circle of 3300mm diameter.

Polycarbonate

Bending radius that material safely withstands is calculated with this formula:

R [mm]= l[mm] * 150, where l = material thickness;

Examples of use:

Polycarbonate 5 mm thick: R = 5 * 150 = 750mm (circle diameter 1500mm). Polycarbonate 5mm thick can be bent in radius up to R=750mm without any damage, or in circle of 1500mm diameter


Why is acrylic more expensive than glass?

Acrylic provides very good technological machinability. It can be easily milled, routed, glued, bent or pressed. Standard glass is cheaper but its machinability is way more expensive and limited due to its fragility and other properties. With this respect producers of acrylic and other acrylic materials set relatively higher prices without compromising demand for materials they produce.


What is the difference between acrylic and polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is soft material with significant stiffness and impact resistance. Compared to glass and transparent plastics it is virtually indestructible. It is widely used for safety applications such as machinery protective shields where high risk of chipping. It is also used as door and window panels or at mass transport stops where vandalism can occur. Due to its softness it is vulnerable to scratches and surface damage which are difficult to remove or repair.

As opposed to polycarbonate acrylic cracks and shatters with impact. However, acrylic at the same time maintains its outstanding surface properties. Compared to polycarbonate it is less vulnerable to scratches and provides significantly higher UV resistance. Acrylic is therefore mainly used for advertising and promotional items production.


Difference between cast (GS) and extruded (XT) acrylic

These materials are visually same, but they have different thermal features. There are other technological differences such as for blowing, laser engraving or pressing. Generally, continuous cast acrylic is higher quality than extruded acrylic.

Cast acrylic

Cast acrylic is more expensive than extruded, price difference is roughly 20%. Cast acrylic bears greater width tolerance. It is suitable for outdoor use as it withstands higher temperatures than extruded acrylic.

Cast acrylic is typically used for more complex production technology such as sphere and dome blowing.

Extruded acrylic

Extruded acrylic is cheaper than cast acrylic. This is caused by ratio of human labor on raw material production. This cheaper price is diminished with lower surface quality and higher thermal vulnerability.

Extruding process leads to re-forming of polymers in length and their narrowing due to high gloss stretching. This causes so called 'granular effect' which leads to shrinkage depending on particular axes positioning during material thermal forming.