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The use of Perspex in the Construction industry

Published on: 14/03/2023

The construction sector is a big user of plastics in general – it’s the second highest user of plastics (after the packaging sector). There are a wide range of applications for plastics across the construction industry, and their use is increasing. The versatility and durability of plastics are well known, and if you add to these advantages the fact that they are lightweight (and easy to move around), low maintenance and corrosion resistant, it’s easy to see why the construction sector finds plastics to be an economically attractive choice.

Perspex, and acrylics in general, find widespread uses in certain types of construction projects, such as for glazing and roofing, for creating partitions, lighting, signage and protective barriers. This is because Perspex has excellent optical clarity, flexural and tensile strength. It also has good adhesion, won’t deteriorate in sunlight, and is easy both to form and to cut.

Perspex Feature Wall

Coloured Perspex feature wall in an office – image courtesy

Acrylics do have some limitations – they are combustible, non-resistant to solvents, lack flexibility and are liable to suffer from stress cracking – but in this post we’ll look at some of the construction industry applications for which Perspex is best suited.

Glazing Projects

Due to its strength and shatter-resistant properties, Perspex is a practical substitute for traditional glass in windows, skylights and other glazing applications. It offers excellent UV and weather protection, and, because it’s easy to cut, acrylic sheets can fit any space perfectly.

Perspex is also a better insulator than glass, making it a great product for use in both commercial and residential construction projects as it has the potential to bring down energy bills.

Silver mirrored acrylic sheet provides high quality reflections, which makes it a suitable material for use in mirror applications, in place of glass. Coloured Perspex is an aesthetically pleasing material which is much favoured by architects because it can complement many interiors.

Perspex is frequently used for splashbacks, shower enclosures and wet-room screens in hotel and residential bathroom fit-out projects.

Coloured acrylic shower/bathroom wall panels

Coloured acrylic shower/bathroom wall panels – image courtesy

Roofing, Canopies and Balustrades

Perspex has many applications as a lightweight roofing material for outdoor structures, such as pergolas, canopies, patio roofing, bicycle shelters, covered walkways and entrances. It lets natural light filter through, while giving protection from the elements. Acrylic sheets can also be used externally in balcony guards and balustrades.

Partitions and Wall Panels

While Perspex allows light to pass through it, it can still provide privacy, making it a great material for translucent partition walls in office buildings. Partition walls help interior designers make better use of space. Acrylic sheets provide high shine and are available in coloured finishes – great for adding a contemporary touch to a building project. In projects where protective barriers are required – in public spaces, retail stores and bank branches for example – Perspex can be an ideal material to use.

Perspex can also be used in wall panel installations to add interest to a plain wall. By adding high shine, matte tinted or mirror finishes, designers can add interesting touches to spaces in office, hotel and residential projects.

Signage and Light Fixtures

The versatility and UV-resistant properties of Perspex make it a widely-used material for lighting and signage, both inside and outside buildings. In the construction sector, Perspex features in lightboxes, spotlights, fluorescents, linear fixtures, down lighting and up lighting – in fact most types of industrial and commercial lighting applications.

Perspe LED Sign

Wall-mounted Perspex LED Light Box – image courtesy

Environmentally Friendly Recycled Perspex

The latest data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) indicates that the UK construction industry is continuing to increase its output of plastic waste at an alarming level.

Any construction company looking to operate more sustainably and to help the environment should consider switching over to PERSPEX®re. This is a new product made from the depolymerisation of acrylic sheets and liquid waste. The manufacturing process uses 100% recycled methyl methacrylate (rMMA) which reduces waste and CO2, and produces an environmentally-friendly product which has high optical transparency, durability and UV stability.

PERSPEX®re is helping to meet increasing demand from the construction sector for high quality recycled substrates which have a long lifespan.

Our Laser Cutting Service

Simply Plastics are one of the UK's leading online suppliers of Acrylic/Perspex sheets, stocking over 125 colours and variants. Cast acrylic is commonly used for glazingsignage and retail displays. Extruded acrylic is commonly used for lighting applicationsinterior decoration and screening. We offer a bespoke CNC Laser and Router cutting service allowing us to supply extremely intricately cut components in both small and large runs. If you need our help or advice on any of your upcoming Perspex projects please get in touch.

Related FAQs

Perspex is used in a vast variety of different ways - it's chemical properties, wide range of colours and finishes, availability and cost, make it the material of choice in applications and industries ranging from home repairs and general DIY through to construction, furniture design, retail displays, signage, lighting and interior design. In the home it can be used to replace broken greenhouse glass panels, as bathroom/kitchen splashbacks or even to replace broken picture frame glass. In commercial environments acrylic mirrors, acrylic block for retail displays and LED diffusers for lighting are commonly used. We stock and supply all of the Perspex product ranges, all of which we can provide cut to size and ready for use.