Acrylic is a kind of synthetic fiber that is made from a polymer called polyacrylonitril. The fiber is known for its strength and durability. Acrylic mirror sheets are often used as a substitute for glass. These sheets have several advantages over glass, some of them are mentioned below
- Consider an acrylic mirror sheet and a glass of the same size and thickness. The acrylic sheet has an impact strength that is many times greater than that of glass.
- Acrylic sheets are lighter than glass and this makes them easier to transport and to install.
- Acrylic sheets are more transparent in comparison to glass.
- These sheets have better flexibility
- An acrylic sheet can be drilled into or cut fairly easily. This makes it more versatile and repairable.
Common uses of acrylic mirror sheets
Believe it or not, The glass on your mobile phone is actually acrylic. Thus, it is scratch proof and does not crack easily even though cell phones typically undergo considerable stress.
Car windows, aircraft windows and boat windows are manufactured using acrylic sheets. Acrylic sheets can be tinted with color (such as red, blue, orange, amber etc.) and thus they are widely used as decorative items and also in interior design. Acrylic sheets are often used as garden mirrors. They’re also used with Architectural glazing – the glasslike finish on contemporary buildings is actually acrylic. There are countless other uses – jewelery cases, bulbs, display signs are all made using acrylic mirror sheets.
We should point out that even though acrylic mirror sheets are superior to glass in terms of flexibility, transparency and durability; they are not a direct replacement. Thin sheets of acrylic do not have the rigidity of glass and they also produce visual distortion. However, visual distortion is NOT caused due to manufacturing defects – it is actually a characteristic of the material. Thicker sheets produce less visual distortion and also offer more rigidity.
What precautions to take when installing acrylic mirrors?
Just like glass, acrylic mirrors cause refraction of light. Thus, they can cause sun rays to concentrate – acting just like a magnifying glass to generate heated spots. So utmost care should be taken while positioning and these sheets must not be installed in areas where combustible materials are stored.
How are acrylic mirror sheets made?
Different manufacturers have slightly different methods but the basic technology remains the same. Acrylic mirror sheets are produced thorough a process known as extrusion. Acrylic pellets are supplied to the extruder, which heats them up to form a molten mass. This molten mass is then added to molds and cools down to form acrylic sheets.
You too can make your own acrylic mirror at home. The process is a bit tedious, time consuming and you will never match a factory job. Still, is a cool, fun experiment for kids! Take a piece of Plexiglas and apply clear glue to one side. Place the shiny side of some silver craft foil onto the glue and take care to ensure that you lay it down smoothly. Your makeshift mirror is ready!
And if you want to buy the best quality acrylic mirror sheets – go to portplastics.com. They have a comprehensive range of sheets to suit all purposes.