What is Extruded Acrylic & how is it made?

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What is Extruded Acrylic & how is it made?

Extruded acrylic is a thermoplastic material used in various applications due to its unique properties. It has outstanding performance advantages during fabrication, installation and in use. In this emailer, we will discuss what extruded acrylic is, how extruded acrylic sheets are made, the applications they can be used for, and the benefits of using extruded acrylic versus cast acrylic.
Extruded acrylic is an extruded thermoplastic that appears slightly different from cast acrylics. These materials are made from polymerized methyl methacrylate (PMMA) which is similar to other types of acrylics, such as cast acrylic, but it is manufactured in a different process that allows for thinner and more consistent thicknesses and lower cost. Acrylic or PMMA pellets/granules are fed from a containment silo to feed a hopper above an extruder line. The pellets/granules are fed into the extrusion barrel and are driven through the barrel by a single or twin-screw auger system.
Its high-precision process allows for sheet thicknesses to be produced to a range of specifications depending on the increasing demands for the application of these products everywhere. The die determines the shape and thickness of the sheet. As the sheet is generated, it is rapidly cooled to prevent warping or stenosis. The rapid process allows for extruded sheets to have uniform compositions and exact tolerances, which makes them desirable for different industrial applications.

Applications for Extruded Acrylic

One of the fantastic qualities of extruded acrylic is its versatility which makes it suitable for many applications across different industries. Some of the more common applications of Extruded Acrylic include Glazing, industrial coverings, plastic housings, furniture and cabinets, window and door coverings, glass-enclosed displays, sound barriers in construction, stage setup, and protective barriers, especially in the manufacturing industry.


Extruded acrylic sheets are used as an excellent substitute for glass in window and sliding door applications and skylights. XT (extruded) sheets are popular with greenhouses in the farming industry because of their clarity, durability, and insulating properties as they help reduce heat convection in closed spaces whilst allowing sunlight in.

Signage Solution

Extruded acrylic sheets are a favourite among different sign-making industries, where designs range from backlit signs to lettering and vinyl decoration. If cost-effectiveness, versatility, and lightweight are what you require, then extruded is the material to use.

Industrial Manufacturing

Extruded acrylic materials are also used to produce various manufactured products, especially in the construction industry. XT is often used as a key product in sound barriers that limit noise pollution, as protective covers, as well as machine guards in production plants.

Benefits of Extruded Acrylic

Cost-effectiveness: Extruded acrylic is more cost-effective than other materials that offer high levels of strength, such as Polycarbonate sheets.

Durability: Extruded acrylic sheets are resistant to impact and UV stable, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Clarity: Extruded acrylic’s high transparency levels make it an attractive alternative to traditional windows and glass installations. They maintain their clarity over a range of long-term periods.

Ease of Fabrication: Extruded acrylic sheets are easy to shape, cut, and install when compared to glass sheets.

  • Can be easily thermoformed
  • Suitable for flatbed printing
  • Available in both Medium and Ultra High impact grades

Benefits of Extruded Acrylic over Cast Acrylic

Some of the Benefits of Extruded Acrylic sheets over Cast acrylic are;

Lower cost: Extruded acrylic has lower production costs than the cost of cast acrylics. Extruded sheets have cost-effective production processes, and quick cooling rates thereby aiding manufacturing efficiencies.

Reduction in waste products: Extruded acrylic production is highly efficient in minimizing variant quality between a good and bad day in production. This efficiency in the production process ensures reduced stress in the finished work and less waste and labour.

In conclusion, extruded acrylic sheets have a range of properties that make them ideal for various industrial and creative applications. These sheets offer excellent thickness tolerance and are extremely easy to vacuum form, making them ideal for MANY applications, especially where complex shapes are required. Apex Polymer Solutions’ (formerly trading as Perspex SA) offering of Extruded XT sheets includes clear, white, black & opal in various thicknesses with a standard sheet size of 3050 x 2050 mm. Our UHI extruded acrylic is available in opal and clear starting from a 1.5mm thickness up. Our standard sheet size is 3050 x 2050 mm but we also offer a 4050 x 2050mm sheet size in an Opal 4mm. Cast Acrylic sheets are often preferred by fabricators and signage makers. The end product and the required lifespan of your project will dictate which substrate is the better one to use. Understand your application well and then choose which product will give you the best result! Apex offers a wide range of Cast Acrylic sheets in various colours & thicknesses. The standard sheet size is 3050 x 2030mm’s.

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