April 5, 2023 | Blog

See-Through Plastic – More than Just Covid Protection

See-through plastics, such as acrylic and polycarbonate, have been a lifesaver in the fight against COVID-19. From sneeze guards to protective barriers, these materials have been used to create a safer environment for businesses and individuals. But, the uses of see-through plastics go beyond just COVID protection. 

One of the most common uses of acrylic is in the creation of display cases and showcases. Acrylic is known for its high clarity and ability to withstand impact, making it the perfect material for showcasing items such as jewelry, collectibles, and artifacts. Acrylic is also a popular choice for aquariums as it is safe for use with marine life and does not yellow over time like traditional glass. Acrylic is both stronger and lighter than glass with a higher clarity rating. The material has the capability to be polished smooth when necessary. It can also be repolished to its original clarity to be reused for sustainable purposes. 

Polycarbonate is another see-through plastic that has a wide range of uses. It is known for its strength and durability, making it a popular choice for security windows and bulletproof glass. Polycarbonate is also used in the construction industry for skylights, roofing panels, and greenhouses. Its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions make it an ideal material for outdoor applications like outdoor signage. Polycarbonate is even more durable than acrylic. It is incredibly flexible and 250 times stronger than glass. Polycarbonate is known for not cracking under pressure. Follow the link if you want to read more about the differences between see-through plastics. 

Both of these plastics are designed for indoor and outdoor applications, which is what makes them popular for sign shops and flatbed printers. They have many advantages including UV resistance, printability, light weight, design flexibility, high light transmission, heat/chemical resistance, etc. The materials are also flat with little chance of bowing, which is essential for printing. Any bump or imperfection will cause damage to a printing machine. It is also crucial that the material remains in its masking all the way until it reaches the printer to stay completely clean and clear. 

The four most important qualities when printing on see through material are flat, clean, clarity, and good masking. Because of this, see-through plastics are so commonly used that you see these materials almost everyday without knowing it. When walking through the terminals at an airport take note of all the gates and business signs. Look around as you’re riding roller coasters with your kids and the entrance signs spike their nerves for the excitement ahead. When touring a museum, you are looking at your favorite piece through a clear showcase. While enjoying favorite buffet, notice the sneeze guard protecting your food. See-through performance plastic is all around us. 

See-through materials have endless examples of engaging finished products and applications like jewelry store risers, trophies, brochure holders, engravings, lasered logos, display boxes, back-lit signs, etc. A popular example of a polycarbonate application is driving through your local hometown and passing the golden arches of McDonald’s. Polycarbonate is known for its uses in large outdoor signage. A popular example of acrylic is walking down a strip mall and noticing all the outdoor signs for all the small businesses. Acrylic is known for its use in smaller outdoor signs. Want to know more about the graphics industry? Follow the link to discover how see-through plastics are used in multiple industries. 

In conclusion, see-through plastics like acrylic and polycarbonate have a wide range of uses beyond just COVID protection. From display cases to skylights, security windows to signage, these materials have proven to be versatile and durable, making them an ideal choice for a wide range of applications. With the ongoing advancements in technology, we can expect to see even more innovative uses for these materials in the future.

Contact your Cope Plastics Rep. today to request a quote on in-stock materials.

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