Acrylic plastic used in medical light
Acrylic Plastic Lets Light Shine Through

Thermoplastic is a Popular Choice for Lighting and Medical Equipment

Not all plastics are acrylic, although all acrylic materials are classified as plastic. In injection molding, this translates to acrylic as a better choice than other plastics because acrylic plastic maintains its 94% light transmittance per inch without hazing or yellowing. It is also lightweight and cost-effective. These properties make acrylics a popular choice for lighting and medical equipment.

Acrylic plastic represents a family of petroleum-based thermoplastics made from the derivation of natural gas. Sometimes referred to as "polyacrylate," acrylic can be made from Methyl Methacrylate,  Poly Methyl Methacrylate “PMMA”, or a combination of both. It is similar to polycarbonate in composition and often used when an application does not require the impact strength of polycarbonate. For example, headlights use polycarbonate for better impact resistance while taillights utilize acrylic (PMMA) plastic because of its light transmittance capabilities.

Acrylic becomes liquid at 160 degrees Celsius, allowing the material to be easily injection molded. Like other thermoplastics, acrylic can be heated to the melting point, cooled, and reheated without significant degradation in the material.  

Characteristics

Transparent in its natural state, the variety of acrylic polymer grades available for use during the injection acrylic molding processes can achieve most any finish that your product requires. Specialized additives inserted during the injection process allow acrylic to become heat resistant and more impact resistant. In addition, acrylic plastic price falls at the midpoint of the pricing spectrum for injection materials and offers:

  • Hardness, to maintain shape over time
  • Thickness variations for customizable output
  • Weather resistance for performance in all environmental conditions
  • Anti-fogging properties for clear light transmission
  • Cost-effectiveness for an economical choice
  • Recyclability

Industries and Applications

PMMA lens are widely used in a multitude of industries and applications when light transmittance, as opposed to diffusion, is a performance mandate. The properties of the material make it popular for:

  • Lighting
  • Optical devices
  • Transportation
  • Acrylic light panels

If your application requires light transmittance, strength and economy, our customized acrylic plastic injection molding can deliver the long-lasting results you need.

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