What is the difference between cast acrylic and extruded acrylic?
Acrylic is manufactured in two versions - cast and extruded. Cast acrylic is made by pouring the hot liquid acrylic ingredients between two sheets of glass which are separated by rubber gaskets - the thickness of the gasket determines the thickness of the acrylic sheet being made. The sealed glass plates are placed into an oven and allowed to heat during which the chemical processes and changes take place. Finally, the sheets are allowed to cool. Cast acrylic is commonly used for glazing, signage and retail displays. Extruded acrylic is made by pouring hot liquid acrylic ingredients into a form or die before the acrylic is forced through rollers which leaves the material with an even thickness and finish. Cast acrylic is generally regarded as a better quality material and offers a number of advantages over the extruded variant such as being more resistant to chemicals and solvents, less prone to scratching, easier to machine and fabricate and available in a far wider range of colours and surface finishes i.e. gloss/matte. Extruded acrylic is commonly used for lighting applications, interior decoration and screening.