Acrylic - Plexiglas


Acrylic, also known as Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), or common tradenames such as OPTIX®, Acrylite®, or Plexiglas®, is a thermoplastic that can be formed into a number of shapes, making it suitable for use in a broad range of industries and products. EFAN offers a full-line of extruded and cast acrylic sheet products for many applications, including signage, displays and more.

Acrylic boasts a variety of high-performance properties, among the most important being its optical clarity, low UV sensitivity, and overall weather resistance. Acrylic is slow-burning or even self-extinguishing, and does not produce harmful smoke or gases in the presence of flame.

The best technique for printing on plexiglass is screen printing, also known as silk screen or serigraphy. Standard screen-printing tools and techniques may be used to print on Plexiglas, with the exception that the proper ink for Plexiglas must be used. The ink must be allowed to dry for an exceptionally long time to maintain the integrity and durability of the print.

Although Screen printing is under attack from new and innovative digital printing technologies, it still maintains a competitive advantage in a few niche industries. Its capacity to offer unique printings and effects cannot be accomplished by any other printing technique. 

High-opacity Whites

One niche application of screen printing is high-opacity whites, with the relatively high viscosity inks used in screen print technologies better suited for handling the relatively heavy inorganic pigments used in white inks. Digital print technologies face the ongoing challenge of keeping these heavy pigments in suspension in their low viscosity ink formulations and therefore struggle to compete with screen print technologies in this application. As a result, screen print technologies can achieve much higher pigment concentration and therefore greater opacity. To create sufficient opacity with a digital white often requires multiple layers to be applied, which is both costly and unproductive, but in the end it never actually delivers the Absolute-White effect Screen Printing gives.

Metallic Colours

Similarly to white inks, metallic inks use heavy inorganic pigments. Therefore, screen print technologies also have a niche application in metallic colours, with digital print technologies facing similar challenges in manufacturing metallic inks as they do in high-opacity white inks.

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