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About Acrylic

Acrylic, also known by European brands such as Plexiglas® and Perspex® is a transparent thermoplastic that is often chosen as a light, durable and cost-effective replacement for glass. It is approximately 17 times stronger than glass, weather resistant, easy to cut and shape, and shatter-resistant, making it safer than glass and suitable for a wider range of applications, from aquariums to retail signs and glass substitutes. It is also used as an economical alternative to polycarbonate. Plexiglas® is a registered trademark of Röhm GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany. Perspex® is a registered trademark of Perspex International Ltd, Darwen, Lancashire, UK.

What is the difference between Acrylic and Perspex®

Perspex® is a brand name of acrylic sheet. Acrylic is a commonly used name for Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) which is produced by numerous acrylic manufacturers around the world.

Does Plastic Wholesale supply the Perspex® brand?

Although we do not supply the Perspex® brand, we do supply acrylic sheets that are of comparable quality. We source our acrylic sheets from several leading manufacturers around the world to offer our customers the highest quality at affordable prices.

Installation Considerations

Although we don’t offer installation advice, there are some considerations to be aware of when working with acrylic. If you have questions regarding these issues, you would need to discuss the same with a builder, handyman or engineer or other qualified professional. The key considerations are:

  • Drilling: customers often use a blunt drill bit to ensure that the sheet doesn’t ‘grab’, twist and crack. Some customers drill through timber ahead of drilling acrylic in order to reduce the sharpness of the drill bit. Additionally, customers sometimes drill a bigger hole than needed and then support the fixing (such as screws) with a rubber grommet. This takes pressure away from the holes, and reduces subsequent cracking, including due to expansion. Sometimes customers drill a small pilot hole ahead of drilling the larger hole in order to provide drilling stability as the surface is quite smooth and can be difficult to work with.
  • Cutting: cutting is typically undertaken with a fine toothed blade. Customers use panel saws, jig saws, CNC routers, among others.
  • Installing: where installation requires drilling holes, in addition to drilling a larger hole than needed and using a rubber grommet as mentioned previously, where appropriate customers sometimes support the acrylic sheet on the bottom with a small platform to reduce pressure on the holes, and thus reduce the risk of cracking, including from expansion. Where used, screws are typically tightened by hand rather than power drill to avoid over-tightening and cracking the sheet.
  • Cleaning: warm soapy water and a soft cloth.

Download datasheet


1893 – Acrylic acid is synthesised by French chemist Charles Moureau.

1928 – Acrylic glass, known chemically as PMMA (polymerised methyl methacrylate), is first developed in the laboratory.

1933 – PMMA is brought to market as Plexiglas by Rohm and Haas.

1936 – The first commercially viable acrylic safety glass is manufactured. It would be used in World War II for windshields, canopies and periscopes. The uses of acrylic would expand significantly throughout the 1950s & 60s.


Acrylic is one of the world’s most popular plastics due to a favourable combination of properties, which include being chemically safe, less than half the weight of glass, a better thermal insulator and more transparent, allowing 92% of visible light to pass through unabsorbed. It can be brittle under extreme loads and high-impact force, and scratches more easily than glass. It can however be polished to restore visual clarity. It is used for the following:

  • Glass Substitute: Glaziers use acrylic as an affordable alternative to glass
  • Signage: Sign-writers use it for large signs, fixing clear or coloured vinyl with digitally printed images over the sheet surface
  • Fencing: Acrylic is an affordable choice for pool fencing, animal enclosures, vegetable gardens, and home decking
  • Aquariums: Acrylic is a popular choice for aquariums as it is shatter resistant and easily moulded into any number of shapes

Acrylic is also used for skylights, protective covers for computers, briefcases, jewellery displays, book stands and brochure holders, lighting fixtures, motorbike helmet visors, safety shields at sporting venues, modern furniture, and many other applications.

Key Properties

Density relative to water (=1), 1.219
Water absorption (24 hrs), 0.03%

Continuous Service Temperature, 85°C (185°F)
Melting point, 160°C (320°F)

Tensile Strength at Break, 70 Mpa
Elongation at Break, 4%
Flexural Strength, 114Mpa
Impact Strength, Notched Izod @ 23°C, 0.21 J/cm (0.4 ft-lbs/in)

  • Amber Tint 202 UV2
  • Black 502 UV2
  • Blue 322 UV2
  • Blue 324 UV2
  • Blue Fluorescent 9092FL UV2
  • Blue Fluorescent UV2
  • Blue Tint 300 UV2
  • Blue Tint 301 UV2
  • Blue Tint 302 UV2
  • Blue Tint 302P UV2
  • Bronze Tint 584 UV2
  • Clear 000 UV2
  • Clear Matt 000ST UV2
  • Gold Mirror UV2
  • Green 347 UV2
  • Green 348 UV2
  • Green 617 UV2
  • Green Fluorescent 993FL
  • Green Tint 304 UV2
  • Green Tint 315 UV2
  • Green Tint 362 UV2
  • Grey Dark Tint 531 UV2
  • Grey Light Tint 2332 UV2
  • Grey Mid Tint UV2
  • Ivory 801 UV2
  • Opal 445 UV2
  • Opal Translucent UV2
  • Orange 266 UV2
  • Orange Fluorescent 265FL UV2
  • Pink Fluorescent 269FL UV2
  • Prismatic Light Diffuser P12 UV2
  • Prismatic Light Diffuser P15 UV2
  • Purple 775 UV2
  • Red 100 UV2
  • Red 115 UV2
  • Red 128 UV2
  • Red 136 UV2
  • Red Fluorescent 267FL UV2
  • Red Tint 101 UV2
  • Red Tint 102 UV2
  • Silver Mirror UV2
  • White 402 UV2
  • Yellow 215 UV2
  • Yellow 235 UV2
  • Yellow 478 UV2
  • Yellow Tint 212 UV2