Many people, on first seeing our perspex artworks, assume that they are made of glass. The material certainly appears similar, but it's actually acrylic glass.
Perspex® and Plexiglas® are two of the leading brand names of acrylic glass, which is the hard, transparent form of a plastic whose chemical name is polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA.
As the material base for our signature, transparent artworks, acrylic glass has several advantages over glass:
1. It's less than half of the weight of glass, making it both more economic to transport and easier to install.
2. It has ten times greater impact strength than glass, making it far safer to transport and far safer to handle.
3. It transmits less UV light than glass, providing more protection for the artwork which will retain its true colour and vibrancy far longer, whether hung inside or out.
4. Acrylic glass is the most transparent material available and with superior optical qualities, it's genuinely crystal clear, even clearer than conventional glass.
To that last point, acrylic glass simply transmits more light than glass. Up to 92% of visible light is transmitted through acrylic. Mineral glass transmits 80-90%, depending on type of glass and manufacturer. Standard 'float' glass has a characteristic green tinge, whilst low iron, Starphire glass comes much closer to the clarity of acrylic.
What about sustainability and recycling?
We produce all our artworks to order, which is a highly sustainable approach to manufacturing as it avoids material waste, and our standard sizes are engineered for 100% utilisation of a full sheet. Properly cared for, the artworks will last for decades.
But if and when there's no longer a place for them, what are your options for recycling?
1. First off, we would suggest you look to on-sell or donate the artwork. If you don't want to handle the sale, or know of anyone setting up a new home, think charitably: there are always deserving blank walls out there in your local community.
2. If that isn't an option, maybe because it's been severely damaged, the good news is that the material can be recycled.
Acrylic is classified as a Group 7 plastic and recycled acrylic PMMA has wide ranging applications across a number of industrial sectors from construction to medical. The challenge you may run into is that Group 7 plastics aren't always collected for recycling by local councils.
We certainly wouldn't like to see any of them going to landfill so, if it's proving difficult for you to organize, get in touch: we should be able to direct you to a material distributor with a recycling program in place.