Amidst the pandemic, businesses across the globe have begun to assess their strategies and expand their operations to new sectors. Rapid changes in the economy have pushed businesses to adopt creative approaches to deal with new-age problems. Although several businesses have faced massive losses due to the pandemic, certain others have seen rising demand, one of such is acrylic sheets. Generating $13.28 bn in 2016, the global acrylics market’s CAGR is estimated to grow at 6.6% by 2022. The market demand for Acrylic sheets shot up largely due to the automotive industry, and with the pandemic in the picture, various markets such as restaurants and grocery stores to ensure that the safety precautions are met. This demand has increased by 400% globally in the last year. This increase is primarily motivated because of the durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness of the acrylic sheet. Each acrylic is an advertisement opportunity for sign makers. The growing demand of the acrylics also drives up the UV printing industry.
Characteristics of Acrylic
Briefly, an acrylic sheet is a polymer material with high plasticity and stability. When compared to traditional plates, acrylic sheets are thicker, harder, and can transmit light with high efficiency. Commonly known as Plexiglas, there are several characteristics that make it a better option for businesses. Being 6 to 17 times greater in resistance than regular glass, similar to aluminum, Acrylic sheet is a durable option. In its colorless form, Plexiglas has crystal-like transparency such as a fine optical glass with white light transmittance up to 92%. Having half the weight of normal glass, acrylic sheet is a lightweight option for businesses.
Additionally, an acrylic sheet has high weather and chemical resistance that provides it with high dimensional stability. With a high level of hardness, the acrylic sheets are able to resist external and natural corrosion, as well as high flame resistance. However, it will soften and lose its form when subjected to very high temperatures for a long duration of time and is flammable without self-extinguishing properties. Acrylic sheets also act as an ideal insulator due to their high surface resistivity. Apart from this, an acrylic sheet has good printability and sprayability which makes it a good option to create a surface decoration effect.
Application of Acrylics
The Acrylic sheets / Plexiglas can be used in various businesses through multiple applications. These play a major role in the construction industry for both decorative and practical purposes. Another industry that largely uses plexiglass is the advertisement field in their displays to cater to the visual aesthetics of the consumers in a cost-efficient manner. It can also be used in panels, canopies, doors, windows, and exterior walls in buildings. It can also be applied to aquariums and to make furniture such as tables, kitchen cabinets, bowls, place mats, as well as mirrored furniture. It is also widely used in multiple electronic products such as LCD/LED TV screens, notebook computers, smartphone displays, electronic device displays, and solar panels. Another growing application is in the medical field where it can be used to manufacture incubators, equipment for hospitals and research labs, and additionally as a cavity filling and bone cement. Plexiglas can also be used in architecture and highway & road lighting shade and lamps.
In the sanitary ware space, it can be used to make bathtubs, washbasins, dressing tables, etc. Moreover, there can be application of the Plexiglas in the fashion / design industry as well because of its plasticity, transparent luster and hardness. Colored acrylic delivers the same features of clear acrylics except optical clarity, and is typically used in a decorative application such as signs, shop displays, kitchen backsplashes, home decor, etc.
When it comes to printing on acrylic with a direct print on the front, white based is printed first, then CMYK on top. Special features such as raised letters, special textures and some high-end features can be created by Apache UV printers automatically. It is especially useful for products wish strict requirement of the height of letters and dots such as braille sign. Check out this for direct acrylics printing.
When it comes to mirror printing on the back, CMYK are printed first, then White base on top. This way the image will be seen from the front with the glass like luminescence. It’s used for home décor such as wall plates and tables, etc.
When it comes to mirror acrylics with reflective surface, direct to firm (DTF) UV printing can be used. Refer to this video here for the process details. Using DTF UV printing, it avoids the chances of the printhead get clogged by the refection of the UV light.
- Photo quality: Apache UV printer equipped with Ricoh GH2220/ Gen5i printheads. With its’ small drop size of 3pl, it gives very fine detail to the graphics. It also allows high color saturation. The print quality is unbeatable.
- Vibrant colors: UV Printing allows the enhancement of the high-quality image of the product with high gloss and vibrant effect.
- Dual surface printing: Due to the see through features of acrylics, it can be printed from the back with CMYK first, then W based, and add a last layer at the end. This way, the graphics can be seen on both sides of the acrylics.
- Quick dying: It can be dried immediately at the time of printing itself and hence does not require the use of powder spraying. This improves production efficiency and shortens production time.
- High-Speed: With Apache UV Printer, the acrylics can be printed at speed of 5sqm/hr.
At Apache, we understand that businesses have different needs and the printers must work efficiently to keep up with the fast-paced nature of a business. We believe in maintaining long term relationships and the growth of our partners. Click here to contact us and one of our specialist team members will reach out to you.