Surprising Uses of Acrylics
You’ve heard about using acrylic plastics for makeup organizers, desk organizers, cake tiers and storage. You probably have some acrylic storage containers already—either in the kitchen or the garage or in your bathroom. But do you know other uses for acrylic? There are some surprising uses for acrylic out there. Here are a few!
With reflective acrylic, you can replace any glass mirror that may break or fall, or simply be too delicate for your taste. An acrylic mirror sheet can be shaped in the traditional square, round, or with laser cutting and customization virtually any shape you can imagine. They are much, much more lightweight than glass mirrors, making them easier to transport and handle when decorating. It also means you can hang them in places where a normal glass mirror might not be able to hang. Frame them, or have holes drilled in them for modern, beautiful stainless steel and aluminum standoffs.
Under the Sea
Since acrylic is one of the most durable materials and is naturally water-resistant, it’s one of the most suitable materials to be used in making submarine windows. The clarity of clear acrylic sheets allow visitors and submarine crew to look at the wonders of the ocean.
In the Air
Airplanes often have a canopy or a window for the pilot and passenger. It provides a weatherproof, tough, durable barrier and often is extremely good at keeping pilots safe. As lightweight and shatterproof as it is, it’s the right choice for aircraft as weight and reducing drag is important. A less weighty plane equals less fuel costs.
At the pool
Since acrylic looks as clear as expertly made glass and comes in various thicknesses and is inexpensive, it is a wonderful alternative for glass-bottomed or glass infinity pools. Often used in luxury and modern designed pools, it’s both UV-resistant and is the ideal product for a gorgeous aesthetic. A pool with an acrylic viewing window also allows parents to observe children, or swimming instructors to watch a swimmer’s stroke or dive when they’re in the water.
Full of Fish
Your favorite aquarium may not be using glass in their massive, amazing tanks. Nowadays, commercial and at home tanks are generally made from acrylic instead of glass and can be formed into so many unique shapes. Also, since companies like us offer so many different cut-to-size pieces, almost any need can be catered to. Acrylic is even easier than glass to cut and shape. An acrylic aquarium will offer viewers a much clearer, less distorted view and can be moved far more easily than big panes of glass. It is also more affordable for your local aquarium to repair or replace acrylic.
Polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA is a polymer that is impact, scratch and weather resistant and used in a variety of situations where shatterproof or impact-resistant glass is necessary. For fish lovers who want to make a statement, building an entirely customized handmade acrylic aquarium can be a lot of fun and a perfect environment for their pets to grow and enjoy.
On Your Head
We all know that safety when bike riding, or on a motorcycle is extremely important and the head needs to be protected most of all. Your bike helmet may be made of acrylic as that would have a less significant weight on your head—possibly causing neck or shoulder pain—it’s scratch-free and incredibly tough. That makes acrylic a preferred choice for many bikers. Many helmet lenses are made from PMMA as well.
Hockey or skating rinks are most often surrounded by PMMA during hockey games, preventing flying hockey pucks from being sent into the crowd while providing the audience a clear view of the rink.
In Your Body
PMMA is used in medical implants and technologies due to the fact it is compatible with human tissue. PMMA is used to replace lenses inside the eye, for instance, in patients who have undergone surgery to remove cataracts. Hard contact lenses are also commonly made with PMMA.
On Your Body
Acrylic is so versatile that it can be made into all sorts of amazing fashion accessories, bracelets, earrings, buckles, broaches, and more.
Making a larger replica of a product can be easy with acrylics. Create a clear acrylic model of a technological piece, showing the inner workings, or a scaled-up version for display. Since acrylic is super easy to machine, and acrylic has a near flawless clarity and finish as well as being affordable, many choose acrylics for this very reason.
Clear acrylics can be cut and shaped to fit almost any furniture, especially table or bar tops. Keeping an antique wooden surface protected without expensive restoration is as easy as a sheet of customized acrylic.
In Your Kitchen
Backsplash is both a great means to protect your kitchen walls and the chance to show off some personal style and flair in your home. An acrylic backsplash is super quick to install, durable, waterproof and seam-free, making it a hygienic, easy to clean solution. There’s also the fact that acrylic most times is far more affordable than tile or other materials.
In the Bathroom
Glass sliding shower doors can be beautiful, but there’s always a chance that glass can shatter when struck the wrong way. An acrylic sheet shower door will often be shatterproof, and resistant to staining as well as be highly customizable compared to glass—all while looking exactly likes glass, without the worry.
In the Living Room
Glass furniture such as glass end tables and glass coffee tables are no doubt elegant in design and looks. The transparency of glass allows designers to show off unique table legs or supports that are often alluring. But again, there’s a high chance that those glass pieces could shatter with the wrong placement of a cup—or worse—with a rambunctious child or beloved pet. Replacing the not-so-stable glass with high quality, see-through acrylic is not only safer, it’s almost impossible to tell that the glass has been replaced with superb cuts of acrylic! No more worries about shattering.
The beautiful, almost crystalline look of delicate glass shelves can be replaced with safer, stronger acrylic as well. Transparent acrylics blend in with virtually any color, design or décor in any home.
Love mirrored furniture? Like the way a mirrored furniture piece opens up a room, making it look airy, bright and more spacious, but don’t like the way mirrors can crack or shatter with one wrong move of that piece of furniture? Mirrored acrylics are an excellent, durable addition or replacement for mirrored furniture. Mirrored acrylics is just as exceptionally customizable as any other type of acrylic, meaning you could customize a completely unique, never-to-be-seen-before piece of furniture for your own home.
CNC Machines and 3D Printers
Acrylics in sheet stock and round make a great candidate for subtractive machining processes on a mill or lathe. A wide variety of colors are available to work and choose from, and some in fluorescent colors, occasionally referred to as ‘edge-lit.’
Parts of acrylic that have been machined from clear stock may sometimes require sanding and or polishing to remove tool marks to restore the transparent nature of it. Acrylic can be easily heated and formed to a desired shape; simple bends can often be made with just heating the bend point with a wire heater. Entire sheets can be heated and draped to take the shape of a desired form.
Many filaments used in 3D printing, clear, white or black are made of acrylic.
Design from start to finish a custom, lit up display for shoes, jewelry, collections, books—anything you can think of. Acrylic’s ability to be shaped, formed, glued and bent can make a hardy, easy to use display for all your goods no matter where they go. Not to mention, adding a touch of light could draw interest which when owning your own business or just being proud of what you own—is important to you!
Let there be Light
Acrylic can be used to deliver beautiful, shimmering color in the form of light as well. Optical fibers, like glass optic fibers, can transmit light through the core of the fiber. Using acrylic gives it a huge advantage over glass optics however, such as how easily acrylics can be bent, shaped, and stretched. Optical fiber is even used in telecommunications governed by European Standards.
Decorative lights using acrylics have been used to showcase ceilings, art deco chandeliers, fiber optic lighting in homes or gardens, curtain lights, flexible plastic neon-like signs, and literally anything design and imagination could think of!
When it comes to all the surprising uses of acrylic, the most surprising may just be the fact it is utterly limitless in what it can do, be molded into, and how it can benefit our lives from literally the inside out! Tough, durable, long-lasting, lightweight and protective acrylics have come so far and can be made to go even further in whatever idea and design you can think of!