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With the advent of ever larger hullside windows on most cruisers and yachts, designers and engineers must weigh up acrylic vs glass in their assessment of what medium works best for their individual application

ACRYLIC vs. GLASS

With the advent of hullside windows on most cruisers and yachts, designers and engineersmust weigh up between using either acrylic or glass whether tempered or in laminated form. Both Acrylic and laminated glass are transparent materials capable of withstanding high impact and weathering under all conditions per ISO 12216.
Acrylic is a polymer with excellent characteristics, offering superior formability, yet delivering excellent optical quality. Laminated glass is manufactured using a different method, principally created using numerous layers of float glass fused together, interleaved with sheets of an adhesive polymer such as PVB.
This makes the assembly very strong.
Nevertheless, polymers have evolved considerably and are now available in new formulations surpassing the characteristics of glass. Key advantages are outlined in this document.

 

Key advantages are outlined below:

SHATTERED GLASS

ACRYLIC VS GLASS - TITLE 1

Ten times stronger than glass, acrylic has far greater strength than glass and does not shatter when exposed to high strains or blunt force. This superior crack resistance is especially valuable whenmanoeuvring yachts close to docks.

This is just one advantage why acrylic is the preferred choice for viewing ports on deep sea submarines and bathyscapes. Equally, where safety issues may arise, the added strength affords acrylic a great advantage over glass.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS - TITLE 2

At less than half the weight of glass — (SG: 1.19 vs. 2.45) — acrylic is an excellent alternative, especially where weight plays a key factor in design. With current trends erring towards ever more efficient, environmentally conscious manufacturing processes for vehicles and boats, designers are becoming ever more focused on shedding as much weight as possible to achieve greater performance and fuel efficiency.

CLARITY 1

MOULD

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As a rule of thumb flat unprocessed glass is less expensive than acrylic. However, tempered glass will be about equivalent, and formed and/or laminated glass will be far more costly to produce than acrylic.

If a window is to have a more defined shape, the forming tools for glass are usually steel or ceramic, while acrylic only requires fiberglass reinforced resin. As such, the difference in tooling costs are substantial; a consideration which becomes far more important for low-volume production.

AcryliCo is able to assist you in quoting estimates for both the masters and forming tools.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS - TITLE 4

Although glass can be formed into curved shapes, due to its restrictive malleability, the finished shape will be quite limited, with complex shapes being far more challenging to achieve.

By contrast, acrylic can be formed into far more radical compound shapes with ease, yet able to retain excellent optical properties with a minimum of aberration.

MALEABILITY

UV BLOCK

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New acrylic formulations are now capable of offering 99% UV blocking. Most people are familiar with ultraviolet exposure to skin which can lead to cancer. Similarly, UV also has a detrimental effect on furniture
and fabrics.

Photodegradation, commonly known as color fading, occurs due to chemicals present in furniture, paintings and fabrics which gets broken down when exposed to UV Radiation.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS - TITLE 6

Thermal conductivity in acrylic is considerably lower than laminated glass. This is advantageous for insulation, such as skylights and protlights resulting in lower running costs for heating and air-conditioning.

Acrylic is currently capable to offering a reduction in Infra-Red light of up to 35% ,dependant to the tint being used. This also has the added advantage to protect the adhesives used to bond the window in its receptacle without the use of a blackout strip, known as a Frit.

Furthermore, these specialty grades also protect interior electronic components and upholstery from fading.

INFRA-RED BLOCK

CLARITY

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Acrylic transmits more light than glass; in fact, up to 92% of visible light is transmitted through acrylic. By contrast, mineral glass transmits between 80-90%, depending on the type of glass.

In cases where laminated glass has several layers, such as ballistic formulations, the image observed through the pane tends to adopt a greenish hue, which is not observable in acrylics.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS - TITLE 8

Portlights and hullside windows can be inserted just about anywhere when manufactured in acrylic. By contrast, with laminated glass, while it is possible to drill through glass, it’s tricky; especially for larger portholes.

In such cases, and since it’s easier to cut glass from the edge, and because hullsides are generally made in several sections, the porthole is cut-out in between two sections. By contrast, acrylic offers a more professional finish, with complete flexibility only limited by a designer’s creative flair.

HULLSIDE DRAWING

SCRATCH_RESISTANCE

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Raw acrylic is softer and more easily scratched than mineral glass. However, new technologies have been developed where a silicate hard coating can be applied to the exterior surface of acrylic transparencies, achieving a hardness of +7Moh.

This affords acrylic far superior protection to resist most scratches and is impervious to chemical attacks.

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Laminated glass is also subject to delamination, whereupon the bonding between layers fails.
This is displayed as unsightly patterns known as “travelling air pockets”. Aside of being unsightly, over time these air pockets can seriously diminish visibility around the edges of the affected transparencies.

By comparison, acrylic is not laminated, and hence will not deterioraste over time.

 

DELAMINATION

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INFINITE DESIGN POSSIBILITIES

Our ability to produce a specific windshield is only limited by your designer’s imagination
WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST YOU

Where acrylic designs are concerned, there are literally infinite opportunities for you to bring into play and create many features to exemplify the design of your boat, but of equal importance, achieve a design which ultimately reinforces the distinctive and unique styling of your brand.

MAKE AND ENQUIRY


With the advent of ever larger hullside windows on most cruisers and yachts, designers and engineers must weigh up acrylic vs glass in their assessment of what medium works best for their individual application

ACRYLIC vs. GLASS

Both Acrylic and laminated glass are transparent materials capable of withstanding high impact and weathering under all conditions per ISO 12216. Acrylic is a polymer with excellent characteristics, offering superior formability, yet delivering excellent optical quality.
Laminated glass is manufactured using a different method, principally created using numerous layers of float glass fused together, interleaved with sheets of an adhesive polymer such as PVB. This makes the assembly very strong. Nevertheless, polymers have evolved considerably and are now available in new formulations surpassing the characteristics of glass.

Key advantages

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M1

1.     IMPACT RESISTANCE:  EXCELLENT

Acrylic has a higher impact strength than glass and does not shatter when exposed to high strains or blunt force. The crack resistance is especially valuable when manoeuvring yachts close to docks. This is just one advantage why acrylic is used for viewing ports on deep sea submarines.

Furthermore, laminated glass is also subject to delamination, whereupon the bonding between layers fails, displayed as unsightly patterns known as “travelling air pockets”. >Aside of being unsightly, over time these air pockets can seriously diminish visibility around the edges of the affected transparencies.

The exterior of these windows are coated to a hardness comparable to glass and therefore not only resist scratching but also the myriad chemicals which might be washing down from the decks above. AcryliCo uses a Quality / Acceptance Standard from our aerospace background to determine the quality level of the products it supplies. These standards apply to helicopter windshields, thus elevating the bar once again within the nautical industry.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M2

2.     WEIGHT ADVANTAGE:  LESS THAN 50%

At less than half the weight of glass — (SG: 1.19 vs. 2.45) — acrylic is an excellent alternative, especially where weight plays a key factor in design. With current trends erring towards ever more efficient, environmentally conscious manufacturing processes for vehicles and boats, designers are becoming aver more focused on shedding as much weight as possible to achieve greater performance and fuel efficiency.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M3

3.     FAVORABLE COST:  SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER

The rule of thumb flat unprocessed glass is less expensive than an acrylic. However, a tempered glass will be about equivalent, and formed and/or laminated glass will be far more costly to produce than acrylic.

If a window is to have a more defined shape, the forming tools for glass are usually steel or ceramic, while acrylic only requires fiberglass reinforced resin. As such, the difference in tooling costs are substantial; a consideration which becomes far more important for low-volume production.

AcryliCo as able to assist you in quoting estimates for both the masters and forming tools.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M4

4.     MALLEABLE FORMABILITY:  HIGHLY VERSATILE

Although glass can be formed into curved shapes, due to its restrictive malleability, the finished shape will be quite limited, with complex shapes being far more challenging to achieve.

By contrast, acrylic can be formed into far more radical compound shapes with ease, yet able to retain excellent optical properties with a minimum of aberration.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M5

5.     PORTLIGHT WINDOWS: EASE OF INSTALLATION

In a similar vein, portlights and hullside windows can be inserted just about anywhere when manufactured in acrylic. By contrast, with laminated glass, while it is possible to drill through glass, it isn’t easy; especially where large portholes are required.

In such cases, and since it’s easier to cut glass from the edge, and because hullsides are generally made in several sections, the porthole is cut-out in between two sections. By contrast, acrylic offers a more professional finish, with complete flexibility only limited by a designer’s creative flair.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M6

6.     OPTICAL TRANSMISSION:  UP TO 15% BETTER

Acrylic transmits more light than glass; in fact, up to 92% of visible light is transmitted through acrylic. By contrast, mineral glass transmits between 80-90%, depending on the type of glass.

In cases where laminated glass has several layers, such as ballistic formulations, the image observed through the pane tends to adopt a greenish hue, which is not observable in acrylics.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M7

7.     THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY AND UK BLOCK:  SUPERIOR

Thermal conductivity I acrylic is lower than laminated glass. This is advantageous for insulation, such as skylights, resulting in lower running costs for heating and air-conditioning.

New acrylic formulations are now capable to offer 99% UV blocking and approximately 35% of IR dependant to the tint being used. >This also has the added advantage to protect the adhesives used to bond the window in its receptacle without the use of a blackout strip, known as a Frit.

Furthermore, these specialty grades also protect interior electronic components and upholstery from fading.

ACRYLIC VS GLASS M8

8.     SCRATCH RESISTANCE:  APPROACHING GLASS

The surface of acrylic is softer and more easily scratched than mineral glass.

However, new technologies have been developed where a silicate hard coating is applied to the exterior surface of acrylic transparencies, affording far superior protection thus resisting most scratches and making acrylic impervious to chemical attacks.

Nevertheless, as with glass, if the transparency is compromised the entire window must be replaced.

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WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST YOU

Where acrylic designs are concerned, there are literally infinite opportunities for you to bring into play and create features which not only exemplify the design of your magnificent boat, but ultimately will reinforce the distinctive unique styling of your brand.

MAKE AN ENQUIRY

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