The brilliance of mirrored Plexiglas is definitely comparable to that of real glass mirrors. As with conventional glass mirrors (as opposed to optical mirrors like the ones used in reflex cameras), the actual reflection takes place on the back surface of the glass: there you will find a very smooth coating of metal foil which produces the reflection whereby the light rays pass back through the glass or acrylic panel. What makes acrylic mirrors special is that they are much lighter in weight than glass ones. They are also less prone to breaking, which accounts for their often being used in situations where such a danger exists. They do have the disadvantage, however, that their surfaces are much more prone to scratching. If you plan to work on the mirror’s surface or if it is to be exposed to some other kind of mechanical stress, a glass mirror should be used. On the other hand, the acrylic version is wonderful for hanging on walls, as a cosmetic mirror and vanity mirror and for enlarging smaller spaces.
When Plexiglas mirror is custom cut, the edges will not be completely smooth because the metal foil tends to fray.
Acrylic sheets have universal applications: for lightweight constructions in model making or visual displays, in picture frames or glazing as well as for making signs and light boxes.
Acrylic semifinished products do not turn yellow in the sunshine. This makes them perfect for outdoor use. Because acrylic glass is subject to thermal expansion, any fixing or mounting systems must be so designed that the sheets are never under stress.
Acrylic glass is a great light guide or conductor. This attribute makes it an interesting and versatile material for use in lamps and other lighting devices. It should be noted, however, that the material absorbs the light over its surface and radiates it outwards at the edges (the edges are bright when seen from the side). The lighted surface should therefore never be masked or covered. Milled cuts will also emit the light when a sheet is backlit. You should be careful when choosing a lighting medium, keeping in mind that the maximum allowable temperature for acrylic glass is between 70 and 80 °.
We are often asked what the difference is between Plexiglas and acrylic glass: it has been our experience that the product with the trademark name Plexiglas, which is produced by the Degussa company, is of the same quality as the acrylic glass produced by other west European companies.
Treatment: Acrylic glass sheets should be sawn. In order to keep the cut edges as clean and transparent as possible, it is recommended, especially in model making, to add some detergent when sawing. Highly glazed edges can be attained through sanding and polishing.
Acrylic glass should not be cleaned with glass cleaners like Sidolin because they can corrode or deface it. Warm water with detergent or special plastic cleaners should be used.
The cast PMMA (GS) lends itself to machining much better than the extruded (XT) version. Because of this, we only recommend the use of the extruded material when not very much boring, milling or turning is planned. Choosing the more economically priced acrylic XT makes the most sense when it is to be used for glazing, picture frames, in simple model making and anywhere else where untreated surfaces are to be used. As far as the eye can tell there is no difference in transparency between the two types.
If you wish, we can send you more detailed and useful hints for glazing with acrylic glass sheets. If you wish, we will gladly send you more detailed and useful hints for glazing work with acrylic glass sheets. Acrylic glass XT can be deformed at temperatures between 150 °C und 160 °C.