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Acrylic Block For Aquarium

Term "acrylic" is used for products that contain a substance derived from acrylic acid or a related compound. Most often, it is used to describe a clear, glass-like plastic known as poly(methyl) methacrylate (PMMA). PMMA, also called acrylic glass, has properties that make it a better choice for many products that might otherwise be made of glass. There are two basic types: extruded and cast.

Types of Acrylic

Extruded acrylic is made through a process in which the liquid plastic is pushed through rollers, which press it into sheets as it cools. This is a comparatively inexpensive process, but the resulting sheets are softer than cast acrylic, can scratch easier, and may contain impurities. Much extruded acrylic is still of very good quality, however, and it makes up the majority available in the market. It's a good choice for use in making signs, displays, and other uses.

Cell cast acrylic tends of be of higher quality than extruded, but it's also more expensive. In cell casting, single sheets of acrylic are made by pressing the liquid plastic between pieces of a mold, often made of glass, which is then taken through a gradual heating process. The resulting sheet is stronger than extruded acrylic. This type is often used for aquariums, and other products that require shaping or machining of the final product.

Advantages of Acrylic VS glass
Acrylic often choosen as an replacement material to glass for aquarium.

Acrylic is very clear, allowing 92% of visible light to pass through it. Glass transmits 80-90%, depending on type of glass and manufacturer. This is especially relevant, when comparing load bearing transparent materials, very thick glass will have a green tint, while acrylic remains clear. It also weathers well, keeping its clarity over the years without turning yellow or breaking down when exposed to sunlight over a long period of time.

Clear acrylic have almost the same refractive index as seawater so there is no bending of light as it passes from the acrylic into seawater, providing brighter color and sharper shapes in acrylic aquariums. The huge viewing windows in large public aquariums can are made of acrylic, they afford a very clear view of the water and ocean life. Acrylic also allows better penetration of your system lighting, which is especially important for reef systems.

Heat Insulation: The value of Thermal Conductivity is higher for acrylic than for glass. Thermal conductivity for most types of acrylic is 0.19 W/mK. This may not matter if you have cold water fish but if you're keeping a tropical tank, you probably want to consider this factor. Acrylic tanks can retain heat 20% better than glass tanks.

Acrylic can be easily processed, acrylic can be thermoformed into tunnels, cylinders and even more complex shapes. Acrylic is easier to cut holes into to accommodate plumbing is used in many ways. It's not impossible to cut glass, but you just need to have special tools and know what you're doing. Some of the larger glass tanks are made out of tempered glass. This glass cannot be cut outside of a factory.

Acrylic is less dense - its density can range from 1150-1190 kg/m3. This is less than half the density of glass which ranges 2400 to 2800 kg/m3. Transportation and assembly of acrylic building material is consequently easier and cheaper.

Acrylic has a higher impact strength than glass and will not shatter. Non-shattering makes Acrylic the ideal material for applications where it would induce fatal losses, like in submarine windows.

Virtually all major public aquariums now build display tanks out of this thermoplastic. Acrylic aquariums are 17 times STRONGER and 50% LIGHTER than glass tanks. Acrylic aquariums will usually cost more than glass tanks for the same size, but the benefits, and the aesthetics, far outweigh the cost differential.

Misconceptions
There are some misconceptions about acrylic, namely that it yellows, turns brittle, and cracks over time. Though this might be true of cheap forms of plastic, it is not so with acrylic. If taken care of, acrylic can remain new looking for several decades, regardless of age or exposure to sun. Some people worry that it scratches too easily, but unlike glass, scratches may be buffed out of acrylic.

PLEXIGLAS® GS Solid Sheet (cast acrylic) - EVONIK

Benefit
Outstanding optical clarity Natural protection against yellowing and loss of light transmission, 30 years guarantee. (The sheet is completely protected against UV radiation by the natural UV-stable technology) Break-resistant to impact-resistant High-quality surface and planarity Good resistance to dilute acids and to alkalis, limited resistance to organic solvents Structural and can be engineered to support weight

Certificate :
Certificate according to EU-Pressure Equipment Directive Certificate according to Germanischen Lloyd (Classification and Construction Regulations III Marine Technology Underwater Technology, Diving Units) Certificate according to ASME PVHO-1-2007 (Safety Standard For Pressure Vessels For Human Occupancy)

Application
Public aquarium, Seaworld aquarium, Sight Glass, Scientific application, Hyperbaric chambers, Vacuum chambers, etc.

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