To be successful in the outcome of any job it is essential to choose the right materials for construction. Many times, environmental factors like weather exposure, public accessibility and durability come into play. While wood and steel both have their place, sometimes steel is just too heavy, and wood doesn’t get along well with water. Both are hard to see through.
“Plastics” of course, is a broad term that refers to any number of different products, brands and material properties. They can be clear or opaque, hard or flexible, heavy or lightweight. By their very nature, plastics are malleable and can be routed, laser-cut, vacuumed-formed and even extruded. Understanding all the variations and uses of plastics is a discipline unto itself. For instance, if you ask one of our fabricators about working with plastics, you might get something like this:
“Well, if you’re looking for a decent clear with a good fire-rating that doesn’t crack, has a high heat deflection and can take a direct printing, you’re looking at polycarbonate. Or maybe you want something you can polish so it gleams like glass? That’d be your acrylic. What about a low melting point, low water absorption? That’s PETG, real nice for vacuum-forming. Maybe it’s got to be tough? Well, then we’re talking PVC, very dense, great for signage or solid structures. Need something to slide? Like a window or interactive component? UHMW’s got you covered, low friction.”
Don’t even get them started on high pressure laminates or custom decorative sheeting. Anyway…I think you get the picture.