Acrylic is a popular type of engineered thermoplastic. Known by many other names including Plexiglass, acrylic glass, Lucite, and Acrylite. Characterized by its transparency, acrylic also has high impact and shatter resistance qualities. Acrylic is also relatively resistant to scratches.

Fast Facts
Great choice for virus protection
High UV resistance
Can be polished to to a high-shine finish

Acrylic Facts, Specifications, Grades, and More

How strong is Acrylic?

This depends in large part upon the thickness of the acrylic piece you are working with. The thicker the material, the stronger and more impact resistant it becomes. If, for example, you hit a piece of 1/2’” acrylic with a baseball bat, you will see spider cracking occur. This would not be the same if you were working with a thicker piece of the material.

How is Acrylic recycled?

At Traco, we take pride in our green initiatives and find creative solutions to reduce waste. Check out this article on how we reduce waste (which results in savings for our customers) and recycle our plastic waste.

Is Acrylic FDA compliant?

Yes, Plexiglass is FDA approved to use within the food industry. You’ve likely seen Plexiglass used as sneeze guards attached to a food buffet.

Is Acrylic UV resistant?

Yes, acrylic is UV resistant, because of this UV light has very little effect on products made from this material.

Is Acrylic an antimicrobial plastic?

Microban is an additive to Lucite (a brand of acrylic) that does make it an EPA-approved antimicrobial plastic.

Another option for antimicrobial protection is AMGARD. This is a thin, transparent sheet that contains silver ions that protect against the growth of microbes.

Does Acrylic do well in the elements outdoors?

Yes, acrylic is used in many outdoor products. For example, signage and large formed letters on the side of a building. Often these letters are made of vacuum-formed acrylic. It can also be used to make certain types of outdoor furniture.

What are the colors available in Acrylic sheets?

Acrylic is available in a wide variety of tinted colors. Since it’s a transparent plastic, you will still be able to see through the color tinting. Colors available include red, green, yellow, amber, and blue. If you are ordering over 1,000lbs at a time when manufacturing with Traco, this material can also be custom color-tinted to fit all of your more personalized needs.

What are the most common brands of Acrylic?

OPTIX, LUCITE, ACRYLITE and PLEXIGLAS are all popular brands of acrylic.

Acrylic is manufactured in many countries around the world. In the past year as acrylic has been a plastic of choice for virus protection supplies, we have cut PPE acrylic materials from Israel, Turkey, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the US.

In our experience, if you are looking for the highest optical grade of this type of plastic, acrylic manufactured in Israel is our material of choice for projects requiring this grade. Traco can help you source the best materials for your virus protection manufacturing.

Is Acrylic plastic toxic?

No. Acrylic does not contain any Bisphenol A, otherwise known as, BPA. So, it is non-toxic.

Where can I buy acrylic plastic?

Acrylic can be purchased at stores like Home Depot and Lowes for simple DIY projects. However, for your manufacturing needs, contact Traco to begin your custom acrylic project right away!

What is cast acrylic?

Cast acrylic is made in a steel mold with a glass top. Resin is poured in and it fills to the edges of the mold. The glass top is then put over the top of the mold and pressed down to force all of the air out of it. After it has cooled, it can be trimmed and cut to sizes that you need for a job. Cast acrylic is typically more chemical resistant and harder than extruded acrylic. It can come in thicknesses ranging from 1/8” and up.

The downside of using cast acrylic is that in a single sheet of material the thickness can vary up to 10% in different spots on the same sheet. In jobs where uniformity in thickness doesn’t matter, cast acrylic is an option.

An example of where cast acrylic would be used is for bulletproof windows. For bulletproof building windows, a type of silicone is layered in between cast acrylic pieces to add impact resistance. A mar-resistant coating can be sprayed on cast acrylic to create military-grade windows for armored vehicles.

What is extruded acrylic?

Another type of acrylic is extruded acrylic. This type of acrylic is slightly softer, with a little less resistance to impact. It is also slightly less chemically resistant. However, it tends to scratch less and experience less hazing than cast. Extruded sheets come in more uniform thickness throughout each sheet. Cutting this type of material is quicker. Extruded acrylic is not used in any type of bulletproofing.

What is the film that is found on a sheet of acrylic?

When sheets of acrylic are made, a protective covering is added to both sides before the production of the sheets is complete. These either come in the form of paper masking or film masking. Typically, paper masking is found on cast acrylic pieces. The other type of masking is film masking. This is either adhered to by static cling or poly stick.

In order to be CNC routed, you must have a type of film that is tightly adhered to the surface of the acrylic. If not, the film could be pulled up during the routing process. If this happens the entire film masking could be ripped off and ruin the entire sheet of acrylic. We ensure that this never happens so that our clients do not incur added, unnecessary costs.

However, if the film tightly adheres to the surface of the acrylic, it is possible to manufacture the pieces and leave the film on. When the project is complete, the film can be left on and removed once the acrylic piece has made its way to the final destination thereby adding an additional layer of protection for the manufactured piece during transportation. Once in place, simply peel off the protective film masking to reveal the acrylic underneath.

What type of plastic is Acrylic?

It’s a type of thermoplastic made from a natural gas derivative.

How is acrylic cleaned?

Be sure not to use any type of ammonia product, such as Windex, on it. The use of ammonia will cause an acrylic piece to crack and craze almost immediately. Acetone will also damage this material.

Instead, use a commercially available plastic cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water to clean your acrylic product.

Can acrylic be printed on?

Yes, it can be digitally printed on. Often customers will request to have their acrylic piece be screen printed edge to edge. In cases like this, we will diamond polish the edges to ensure a perfect finish on all sides.

What type of products are made with Acrylic?

Acrylic can be used in many forms of see-through panels such as windows. It is often used for point of purchase displays, outdoor signage, and picture frames. It can also be used in aquarium build-outs and some pieces of furniture. In recent times it has played a large role in PPE equipment in schools and businesses. See our blog highlighting Traco’s use of this type of plastic material in our local Western New York school system.

Plastics machining taking place on a CNC router at Traco Manufacturing.

Specs and Data

Attribute Value
Friction Rating
Impact Rating
Machining Speed
Difficulty to Machine

Strengths and Benefits

  • It’s a great material to use for virus protection

  • Great for outdoor use, because of it’s UV resistant properties it’s often used in outdoor signage.

  • FDA compliant means that it’s perfect for use in the food industry


  • Can be damaged or cracked when cleaned with any type of ammonia product

  • Can crack or break if the sheet used is not thick enough to withstand the force of the impact


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