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Extruded Acrylic

Extruded acrylic, also referred to as plexiglass or acrylic sheet, is a transparent thermoplastic that is commonly used as a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It offers similar or improved optical clarity and durability compared to glass, while avoiding the safety concerns associated with glass breakage.

As a plastic polymer material, extruded acrylic is produced into tubes and profiles form through a continuous extrusion process where molten acrylic resin is pressed through a precision opening to create uniform sheets with consistent thickness. This offers reliability and efficiency advantages over cast acrylic, which uses a slower batch method.

The acrylic may be cut to size and shape after extrusion or shipped to other facilities for secondary fabrication and finishing operations. Extruded acrylic is sometimes referred to as plexiglass, acrylic glass, or panes, but it differs from molded acrylic in key production technique aspects.

At half the weight of glass, it provides additional benefits such as easy handling, fabrication, and lower shipping costs. It also withstands impact better than glass and resists cracking or shattering when subject to extreme force or pressure.

Extruded Acrylic


Extruded acrylic tubes and profiles offer several advantages that make them a versatile choice for a wide range of applications:


The continuous extrusion manufacturing process allows efficient, high-volume production of acrylic products at a lower cost than alternative materials like cast acrylic or glass. This makes extruded acrylic an economical choice.


Extruded acrylic withstands impact better than glass, resisting cracking and denting when subject to extreme stresses or pressure.

Easy Fabrication

The uniformity of extruded acrylic makes it suitable for precise laser cutting, routering, machining, thermoforming, and other fabrication techniques to craft custom shapes.

Optical Clarity

Extruded acrylic possesses excellent light transmission and clarity approaching that of optical glass, although marginally below cast acrylic. This level of optical quality allows uses in products like skylights, displays, and signage.


Extruded acrylic exhibits good UV stability and resistance to long-term environmental exposure, making it suitable for outdoor use where other plastics would degrade over time.

Lightweight Strength

At around half the weight of glass, extruded acrylic provides improved durability and impact absorption while enabling easier transport, installation, and handling.

Common Applications

The optical clarity, fabricability, and resilient properties of extruded acrylic make it well suited for the following applications:

Laser Cutting – Extruded acrylic is laser cut to precise custom shapes and sizes for lighting displays, small signage, and machine guards. The laser cleanly ablates the plastic.

Signs & Displays – Excellent light transmission allows backlighting of extruded acrylic to create illuminated retail displays and business signage visible in any lighting.

Glazing & Skylights – The weather resistance permits long-term outdoor exposure as window glazing or commercial skylights to allow natural light indoors protected from UV degradation.

Aquariums & Terrariums – The high optical quality and lightweight nature suits small custom aquariums and terrariums to showcase pets or plants safely. Acrylic edges polish to a clear finish.

Protective Screens – Durable extruded acrylic fabricated as protective screens represent a safer alternative to glass while providing crystal clarity for unobstructed vision.

plastic tubing

Fabrication Methods

Cutting – Table saws, band saws, or CNC routers accurately cut acrylic to size. Laser cutters neatly finish shape contours.

Machining – Drilling, tapping, routing, and sanding using conventional tools creates holes and edges for assembly.

Thermoforming – Heated acrylic is molded over forms to take permanent 3D shapes for signs, displays, and machine guards.

Bending – Controlled strip heating enables measured bending into curves for custom covers, housings, and enclosures.

Bonding – Acrylic solvent welding processes fuse extruded acrylic parts to create impermeable joints for aquariums, displays, and LED sign boxes.

Finishing – Edge polishing via flame or abrasive methods results in glossy transparent edges and enhances clarity further.

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