While each year brings the development of new and more advanced materials, other manufacturing materials have stood the test of time and remain the best choice for many products. Acrylic has been in use for decades now, but it still offers superior formability and durability when compared to many other materials.
Sheets of acrylic in particular can be used for creating a wide range of in-demand products. These five types of products all demand high-quality sheet acrylic for fast and reliable manufacturing results.
1. Fish Tanks
Sheet acrylic is widely used in crafting custom fish tanks, especially in designs that call for curved or otherwise unusually shaped panels. Since acrylic is flexible and easily formed with the right tools, customers can order practically any kind or size of fish tank they can dream up.
The durability and shatter resistance of acrylic also makes it a popular choice for fish tanks that will be installed in active homes with pets and kids. Most forms of sheet acrylic are about 17 times as strong as similar thicknesses of glass when it comes to an impact like a toy or ball being thrown at the tank.
Acrylic is also a relatively stable plastic with little chemical leeching, even in a challenging use like an aquarium, making many formulas perfectly safe for use with fish and plants.
2. Awards and Plaques
Sometimes the sheer flexibility of the look of sheet acrylic is what makes it so valuable for manufacturing certain products. Signs, awards, and plaques all rely on layers of clear and colored acrylic sheets to give the finished product depth while protecting underlying layers of paint, printed ink, or other less weather-resistant materials.
Acrylic is easily cut with a laser or CNC milling machine, allowing for endless customization options. Engraving and shaping acrylic allows award and sign makers to quickly craft designs to their customers' exact specifications and wording.
3. Clear Office Supplies
Sheet acrylic is also widely used in the manufacturing of various reusable office supplies. Desk organizers, hanging file racks, and even erasable wall calendars are all made with this material because it offers plenty of clear and color options and lasts through years of daily use.
The clarity and light weight of acrylic is particularly important for hanging and mounted office supplies like file organizers. Employees in busy offices, hospital settings, and other facilities need to be able to spot the right file at a glance, and the lack of distortion caused by acrylic sheet material makes it a great choice for manufacturing these kinds of products.
4. Tough Windows
Glass is not the only option for windows and structural glazing, and often it's not even the best choice. Acrylic is easily manufactured in huge panels for a seamless whole-wall window that won't break due to a flying piece of storm debris or an errant hailstone. The same durability and shock resistance that makes the material a great choice for fish tanks also applies when it's used for windows.
5. Greenhouse Covers
Finally, you'll also find many commercial and hobby greenhouses covered in sheets of impact-resistant acrylic. There are forms of the sheet material that have higher light-transmission levels than even the best glass-glazing products. Light transmission is essential to growing profitable covered crops, and the greater impact resistance also helps reduce repair costs over the life span of a greenhouse.
Looking for sheet acrylic that works for all of these uses and more? Explore our selection of acrylic sheets and other plastic and rubber materials here at DIXIE Rubber & Plastics. We're sure to have something that meets your manufacturing needs.