Acrylic is produced in two basic versions, cast and extruded. Cast acrylic is produced by mixing the acrylic liquid ingredients in molds, for acrylic plates between two glass plates. A chemical process in the mold create a homogeneous material with equivalent properties in all directions. In contrast, extruded acrylic is produced by continuously pushing acrylic mass through a form, while the chemical process takes place. Extruded acrylic is therefore heterogeneous, with the properties which vary depending on the direction. Cast acrylic is usually regarded as a better quality than extruded acrylic. There are some small but important differences.
• Cast acrylic is more resistant to same solvents.
When laser cutting extruded acrylic, there becomes a burl on one side of the sheet, casted acrylic will not give a burl. The edges on extruded sheets can look a bit different depending on the direction of the acrylic extrusion.
• The laser engraving will be on extruded sheet look matt grey, on cast acrylic sheet matt white.
By heat bending a sheet of acrylic sheet can because of the acrylic extrusion direction behave differently depending on the bending direction relatively to the extrusion. With cast acrylic sheet, it makes no difference.
• Sheets of cast acrylic vary more in thickness.
A cast of 3mm acrylic sheet vary +/-15% while an extruded sheet only varies +/- 5%.
• Cast acrylic is more scats resistant than extruded acrylic.
• Cast acrylic can be produced in many different color and thicknesses, .The extruded acrylic sheet is more limited in the color selection.
• Alligator keeps stock of extruded sheets size 2000x1000mm.
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