Characteristics of Acrylic Plastic

Acrylic plastic sheets are used as a glass replacement in windows.
••• Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Acrylic plastic may be any plastic derived from acrylic compounds such as acrylic acid or methacrylic acid. They generally have similar properties and are commonly used in Plexiglas, lacquer and adhesives.


Acrylic plastic is extremely transparent and transmits 92 percent of white light. This is equal to the transparency of the finest optical glass.

Impact Resistance

Acrylic sheets (Plexiglas) have six to 17 times the impact resistance of ordinary glass, depending on the specific preparation. Plexiglas also breaks into relatively dull pieces compared to glass.

Weather Resistance

Acrylic plastic is highly resistant to variations in temperature and humidity, making it useful in outdoor applications.

Chemical Resistance

Acrylic plastic is highly resistant to inorganic acids and bases but can be dissolved by organic substances, especially petroleum products.


Acrylic plastic is combustible and will self-ignite at approximately 860 degrees Fahrenheit. It will burn with an open flame at about 560 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related Articles

How to Make Bullet Proof Glass
Difference Between Polystyrene & Polyurethane
What Is Urethane?
The Properties of Insulators
Recycled Glass Countertops vs. Granite
The Advantages of Acrylic Plastic
Uses of PVC Plastic
What Is LDPE Plastic?
How to Make a Sodium Silicate Solution
How to Dissolve Polyethylene
Things Made From Recycled Plastic
White Vinegar & Isopropyl Alcohol Uses
How Are Whiteboards Made?
What Is Lexan Glass?
Properties & Uses for the 4340 Grades of Steel
What Is 304 Stainless Steel?
How to Dissolve Steel
Urethane vs. Polyurethane