Plexiglass vs Glass (Ultimate Guide)

If you work with glass materials or planning on buying those, there’ll always be a thought that comes across your mind.

And that is: Should I buy traditional glass? Or Plexiglass?

If you’re well experienced with both the materials, you already know which one you want, but if you’re not, you’re in luck today?

Why? In this article, you’ll know everything there is to about glass and plexiglass and which one you should buy for your next project.

This is not precisely an X vs Y comparison; this article’s goal is to inform you about both in detail.

You can make a choice more confidently.

Before we jump in..

I want to touch the definitions of both these materials.

Many of you already know this, but many people out there are still in the dark. So let us know the basics first.

Difference Plexiglass vs Glass

What is glass?

Glass is glass. Duh!

Glass is a reliable, transparent, and non-crystalline material usually made by the rapid cooling of the molten form. 

Typical glasses are made out of silica and sand as their main components. 

Now the exciting part…

What is plexiglass?

Plexiglass is an explicit and solid plastic material made out of polymer and carbon. Plexiglass is a trading name it also goes by the name Acrylic Sheet.

Plexiglass looks significantly similar to glass. It is one of the most transparent and impact-resistant plastic material out there.

Difference Between Glass and Plexiglass

Now that you have a general idea of both these products, let’s dive into more details and see how they differ.

Acrylic sheet vs Glass
Acrylic vs Glass

Difference between Plexiglass and Glass

FactorGlassPlexiglass
Shatter ResistanceNoYes
Material strengthLowHigh
SafetyNoneYes
WeatherproofNoYes
GlaresMoreLess
WeightHeavyLight
MaintenanceToughEasy
Cutting, Drilling, BendingNoYes
LifespanShortLonger
TransparencyGoodGood
PricingCheaperExpensive than glass
RecyclingEasierHarder

As I said earlier, this is not an X vs. Y article. 

Instead, I’ll explain what they are good or bad for so you have a better understanding when purchasing one.

Let’s dive right in..

Safety Measure

Acrylic sheet or plexiglass is one of the strongest and most impact-resistant plastic material on earth.

It can take a heavy beating and still stand without a crack. This makes plexiglass a reliable and ultra-safe alternative to traditional glass materials.

On the other hand, glass is glass!

Any small impact from outside can shatter them into pieces.

Weight

Plexiglasses are lighter than glass, which makes it easier for the DIY-ers.

It’s also easier to work with when you know this isn’t going to break every time it gets a small hit.

Transparency

When it comes to transparency, you can’t go wrong with any of these products. Both of them offer excellent transparency.

Maintenance:

When it comes to maintenance, traditional glasses can be a colossal headache some times.

They collect more dirt and make it harder for you to wash or clean them.

On the other hand, due to its nature, plexiglass tends to collect very little dirt and remains cleaner than the other.

They are also easier to clean and maintain

Weather Resistance

If you’re living in an area where storms and strong wind occur now and then, you might want to reconsider buying glass for your skylight, roof, window, or door mirrors.

Why? One strong wind can make your glasses shatter into pieces.

We strongly recommend using plexiglass in this case as I said earlier this one of the most robust plastic material on the market and won’t shatter into pieces when calamity occurs.

Reflections

Glass surfaces tend to reflect more. This is the reason aquarium makers tend to love plexiglass over traditional glass.

And if you’re building a greenhouse or agricultural project, you should consider plexiglass or acrylic.

Cutting, Drilling, Bending

You already know the answer, know more about machining acrylic sheet.

Recycling

Glass materials are cheaper and easier to recycle.

But if you consider the lifespan of both, the average lifespan of acrylic sheets is 8-10 years. And, Glass? Who knows!

Creativity

Because of the flexibility plexiglass offers, you can cut, bend and even drill them without any trouble and make your own product out of it. A utility traditional glasses fail to offer.

Pricing

Compared to acrylic, glass materials are cheaper.

But because of their fragility and limitation of uses, people tend to spend more and choose plexiglass.

Conclusion:

Now you have it. As you’ve seen, if your budget is minimal and you only need this for an onetime project, you can go with glass materials.

But if you’re looking for a shatter-resistant and robust material that will serve you longer, you need plexiglass.

Especially if you need in a zone where weather can be rough sometimes, you may want to avoid glass and go with acrylic sheets.

I believe this information can help you decide the best item for your next project.

Still got questions? Feel free to knock us here.

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