Understanding the Difference Between Plexiglass and Acrylic


When it comes to plastic materials that are durable and versatile, two names often come up: Plexiglass and acrylic. However, not everyone realizes that Plexiglass is actually a brand name for a type of acrylic. Let's explore what acrylic is, the story behind Plexiglass, and why understanding the difference matters.

What is Acrylic?

Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic homopolymer known more formally as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Renowned for its strength, clarity, and versatility, acrylic serves as an excellent alternative to glass. It's about half the weight of glass but significantly more resistant to impact. Acrylic is also known for its weather-resistant qualities, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Plexiglass: The Brand Name

Plexiglass is a brand name that has become almost generic due to its widespread use and popularity. The name originated in the early 20th century, a creation by manufacturers looking for a catchy, marketable term for their acrylic sheets. Over time, "Plexiglass" has become a term many use interchangeably with acrylic, though it's technically a brand.

Differences Between Brand Name and Material

While Plexiglass refers to a specific brand of acrylic, there are numerous manufacturers of acrylic products. The quality of acrylic can vary depending on the manufacturer, but the basic properties of PMMA remain consistent. It's crucial for consumers to understand this distinction, especially when searching for plastic products or solutions that meet specific plastic requirements.

Advantages of Acrylic

Acrylic offers several advantages over traditional glass and other materials. Its durability makes it a safer option, as it doesn't shatter into sharp pieces when broken. Additionally, its versatility allows for a wide range of applications, from aquariums and hockey rinks to airplane windows and protective barriers. Its clarity and ability to be easily shaped and molded into various forms also make it a popular choice in the creative arts and design fields.

Applications of Acrylic and Plexiglass

The applications for acrylic and branded products like Plexiglass are nearly endless. In the medical field, acrylic is used in surgical devices and protective equipment. In construction, acrylic sheets are employed as windows, skylights, and architectural features. Retailers use acrylic for display cases, signage and even accessories while homeowners appreciate its use in furniture, photo frames, and decorative items.


Plexiglass, a pioneer brand in the world of acrylic, has become synonymous with quality acrylic products. However, understanding that Plexiglass is just one of many brands that produce quality acrylic sheets and plastic materials is important for making informed decisions about its use. Whether for a DIY project, a commercial application, or artistic endeavors, acrylic's remarkable properties offer a world of possibilities.


Interested in more things acrylic? Join Acrylic Obsessed Facebook Group today and make sure to check out CMB's All New Acrylic Sheets


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