shelves full of plastic and other materials in our distribution se

The Clear Plastics – Acrylic, Polycarbonate, and PETG

Erie Industrial Plastics consistently stocks acrylic, polycarbonate, and PETG in a variety of thicknesses and colors. Our experienced staff can help you select which material is best for your application and offer insight on edge finishing, mechanical or adhesive fastening systems, hardware, and even cleaning products.

Benefits of Acrylic

Acrylic sheet is offered in wide variety of colors, surface finishes, thicknesses, and sheet sizes. It also can be purchased in rod and tube form for special projects. The surface of acrylic is relatively hard and resists scratching under moderate conditions. It can be bent, laser-cut, engraved, polished, and glued with great ease and optimum aesthetic value.

Acrylic is commonly used in sheet form for signage and glazing applications but because of its outstanding fabrication characteristics is also a favorite for display cases, literature racks, machine covers, candy bins, POP displays, and more.

Benefits of Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is the most impact-resistant thermoplastic used in the glazing and signage markets. It comes in variety of sheet sizes and thicknesses to meet a wide range of industry demands. There are a few colors and finishes available to choose from, but the selection is more limited compared to acrylic. Polycarbonate can be machined, bent, glued, and mechanically fastened to produce machine guards and other enclosures; however, due to its composition, polycarbonate is not an ideal material to thermoform or polish.

Erie Industrial Plastics produces hundreds of polycarbonate machine guards every year for all types of businesses. Let us help you put safety first with free design advice on your next guarding application.

Benefits of PETG

Like acrylic, PETG is a clear thermoplastic sheet that is commonly used for fabricated products. It is easily cut, machined, and glued for assembly and also can be thermoformed to produce very detailed and uniquely designed parts. It is softer than acrylic, making it more vulnerable to scratching, but it has greater impact strength to resist breakage. It’s mix of strength, clarity, and ease of fabrication make it an ideal choice for machine guards, equipment covers, and POP displays.

Polycarbonate–LEXAN | Makrolon

Technical Data Sheet – Polycarbonate (Pc)

Polycarbonate (PC) is similar to glass and acrylic in clarity but has a significantly higher impact resistance. It is frequently used in machine guarding and security applications that require optical clarity and stronger resistance to breakage. Polycarbonate is lightweight, stiff, and relatively easy to saw, machine, heat form, and paint. It also comes in a variety of colors and grades, including flame-retardant, bullet-resistant, FDA-compliant, structural foam-grade, and glass-filled grades for maximum strength.


Common Applications

  • Machine guarding
  • Windows, windshields, and window well covers
  • Power tool and appliance housings
  • Skylights and architectural glazing
  • Security glazing
  • Indoor and outdoor signs
  • Greenhouse glazing (twin-wall grades)


Characteristics of Polycarbonate (PC)

  • Impact resistant
  • Heat and flame resistant
  • High clarity
  • Wide temperature range
  • High toughness and dimensional stability
  • Resistant to moisture, humidity, greases, and most acids

Polycarbonate Properties Chart

UNITS ASTM TEST Polycarbonate
Tensile strength psi D638 9,000-10,500
Flexural Strength psi D790 11,000-15,000
Flexural Modulus 10^5 psi D790 3.0-3.4
Impact Strength, Izod ft-lbs/in of notch D256 12-16
Heat deflection temperature @ 264 psi °F D648 260-270
Flammability rating UL94 HB, V-0
Water absorption (1/8” thick, 24 hours) % D570 0.15
Refractive Index D542 1.586
Light Transmittance % D1003 85-89
Coefficient of thermal expansion 10^5 in/in-℃ D696 6.6-7.0
Elongation % D638 110-125

Values may vary. Please ask your Erie Industrial Plastics representative for more specific information.