Acrylic – A Comparison with Polycarbonate

Acrylic is often compared to polycarbonate, worse still they are sometimes seen as the same material, which is untrue. The biggest difference that separates them would probably be the transparency. Acrylic is clear and transparent whereas polycarbonate often comes in different colors. 

Popular Uses for Acrylic:

  • Motorcycle helmet visors
  • Roofing
  • Windows (Commercial Units & Military vehicles)
  • Spectator Protection
  • Riot Control Shield & Equipments
  • Swimming Pool partitions
  • Aquariums

Popular Uses for Polycarbonate:

  • Discs and DVDs
  • Roofing
  • Computer and mobile accessories
  • Smartphone, Laptop and household cases
  • Commercial Visors


Polycarbonate is less likelier to chip, because it is not designed for crisp visual effects. That being said acrylic is still very strong, 10-24 times stronger than glass with extreme longevity. Also worth mentioning is that polycarbonate does not turn yellowish over time, whereas acrylic loses its transparency with yellow hue due to discoloration.

They are both important and widely utilized in different industries, depending on application they are both amazing materials. Its like comparing apples and oranges. All in all, they both cost effective and takes a beating from harsh and demanding environment.