Acrylic Tube is made by combining carbon molecules chemically producing a tube-shaped polymer, and then casting or extruding the resin so that it assimilates the physical characteristics of the tubing.
Acrylic’s main characteristic as a thermoplastic is that it softens under extremely high temperatures. This property gives it the flexibility to be moulded into a limitless range of sizes and shapes. Clear acrylic tubing is also very light and has the benefit of non-yellowing and non-clouding properties and has a higher resilience than other types of plastic tubing. Acrylic’s durability under a wide temperature range gives it the benefit of excellent weather resistant properties which means exposure to the sun will not cause any loss of light remittance, clarity and strength. There is no discoloration or decrease in performance as well for a period of at least 10 years. Acrylic tubing is also a good thermal insulator as the tubing has a 20% greater insulation than glass.
Tubing is only one of the many applications of this versatile and extremely durable material. The tubing comes in the form of clear Cast and Extruded with a minimum OD (outer diameter) of 5 mm or 13/64 inches and maximum OD of 70 mm or 2 ¾ inches and a minimum ID (inner diameter) of 3 mm or 1/8 inch and maximum ID of 60 mm or 2 23/64 inches. Other sizes are also available, each with an outer diameter and an inner diameter range.
Acrylic tubing is widely used in almost all types of industry in the world in one capacity or other. They can be found in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Transportation, Building & Construction, Marine, Home & Garden Chemical and Medical.
Acrylic Tube/Perspex Tube/Clear Tube
Acrylic tube retains the workability quality of acrylic sheet but in a tube form. There are two manufacturing methods involved:
Cast Acrylic Tube
These are manufactured by casting the acrylic into the required tube size and this method is able to give it the best optical finish available. Cast Acrylic Tubes are better suited to machining and polishing. Cast acrylic tube offers a range of large diameters up to 650mm or 25 19/32 inches. The Cast Acrylic Tube has the following advantages-(i) they can be manufactured to exact specifications, (ii) they are able to display exceptional quality and (iii) they are highly polished. Cast acrylic tubes are used in the food industry, fabrication works, oil, gas and pipeline research, signs, displays and precision engineering.
Extruded Acrylic Tube
These are manufactured by extruding the acrylic into the required tube diameter. Little or no processing is required. However, the outside diameter available is limited to a maximum of 300mm or 11 13/16 inches. The Extruded Acrylic Tube has the following advantages- (i) they are available in smaller outer diameters (OD) diameters from 5mm, (ii) they are an economical alternative to cast acrylic tube especially so when aesthetic finish is not critical, (iii) they have good manufacturing tolerances. However, extruded acrylic material does not machine and polish well because of its lower heat distortion point. It is ideal for reinforcing and decorative work particularly in the production of decorative furniture pieces and point of sale displays.