Why should you use transparent material for pool fencing?
When deciding to build pool fencing, it is important to consider the safety and durability options of the material you decide to use. While it may be a popular choice for its clarity and aesthetic, it may not be the safest option for your pool due to its high probability of shattering. The best two alternatives that produce a similar effect to glass are acrylic and polycarbonate glass.
Acrylic sheet and polycarbonate panels weigh about half as much as similarly sized glass by volume, and both offer greater strength and flexibility as well. Acrylic is the more affordable of the two, and is known for its glossy and highly transparent finish that retains its quality even throughout heat treatment and molding. Discovered in 1893 by Charles Moreau and patented by Otto Rohm, acrylic plexiglass is now known by many names (PMMA, Plexiglass, Lucite, Acrylic Glass, Acrylite).
It is made of a transparent thermoplastic that is commonly used as a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass. In 1936, acrylic sheet was used as safety glass during World War II, and due to its increased compatibility with human tissue compared to standard glass, those who were injured by acrylic shards demonstrated better outcomes. In present days, acrylic is often used for many common items such as bathtubs, aquariums, and signage.
Polycarbonate is more resilient and stronger than acrylic, capable of 250 times the impact resistance of standard glass. It was synthesized in 1953 by Dr. H. Schnell and Dr. Daniel W.
Fox of General Electric Company through the reaction of bisphenol A (BPA) with phosgene COCl. What resulted from their work is a nearly impenetrable plastic that can be used for various protective equipment, including bulletproof glass. It is an ideal choice of material when strength and security are a priority, but it can also be used for everyday appliances such as outdoor light fixtures, greenhouses, and it can be utilized by glazing items such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks. In addition, it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is recognized as a safe material to use with consumer products.
Polycarbonate: Pros and Cons of Using Polycarbonate
- 250 times the impact resistance of glass
- Highly flexible with the ability to be molded at room temperature
- Non-flammable and is capable of high heat exposure
- High chemical resistance
- Does not crack from being drilled
- Weighs less than acrylic
- Easily scratched
- Incapable of being polished
- Increased risk of denting
- More translucent rather than transparent
Acrylic: Pros and Cons Acrylic Glass
- 17 times impact resistance than glass
- Can be polished
- Better bonding with glue
- More affordable and lower shipping costs
- Shinier and incredibly transparent
- More rigid
- Potential to crack and chip
- Easier to scratch compared to glass
- Not naturally UVA resistant (can turn yellow over time)
- Likely to crack if drilled into
- Flammable (should not be exposed to open flames)
So Which Is Better?
This choice can be made depending on a customer’s specific needs and what the material is going to be used for. First and foremost, it must be determined if the material will be utilized for everyday and retail functions or if solid industrial material is needed for more heavy duty jobs. If you are seeking a more practical and affordable option, acrylic is more than adequate for a majority day-to-day uses, such as windows, insulation, craft projects, and retail displays.
You can get the best user guide on Polycarbonate vs. Acrylic (https://www.glassgenius.com/blog/Acrylic-Plexiglass-vs-Polycarbonate-Lexan-Glass/ ).
If your project requires high resilience to heat and impact, polycarbonate is the better choice for items such as bullet-resistant windows, clear mold casts, greenhouse windows, and roofing panels.
Best Places to Buy
As with any purchase, cost is likely the first thing that comes to mind when considering where to buy your choice of acrylic or polycarbonate glass. Depending on your place of residence, these glass alternatives can be more or less cost efficient, as certain areas in the world produce higher amounts of it than others. The top major exports in the world are located in Asia, with 7 out of 10 of the top producers being an Asian country. Interestingly enough, data shows that in 2016, despite being the top exporter, acrylic coming from China cost the most compared to rivaling countries at $8,650 per ton high compared to India’s $3,610 per ton and Germany’s $3,132 per ton lows. But still, the question remains: “Where is the best place to buy?”
As a consumer, where can you buy the materials for acrylic, polycarbonate, glass, or mirrors? Glass Genius is the only online marketplace that brings together a variety of different vendors and customers in need of such materials. By using an open marketplace, you are able to connect with various sellers to compare quotes for the best possible price anywhere.
With Glass Genius, the potential for both businesses and consumers is limitless; businesses have a greater ability to reach a bigger audience and consumers are able to price quote and compare different business providers for the top quality glass materials.