• 18 February, 2016
  • Blog

Ever wonder what are the differences between and Polypropylene, Acrylic and Polycarbonate-made furniture? These thermoplastics are suitable to be use to make outdoor furniture as they generally do not discolour easily under the sun’s UV rays, are water-resistant, colourful and can have a glossy finish.

But clearly, there are still some differences.

 

Polyproplene

SandlerSeating_General_Bikini_PP

Bikini by Sandler Seating

 

One of the key features of polypropylene furniture lightweight and very flexible; it is unlikely to shatter and will take significant flexing damage prior to breaking. It does not mold or deteriorate by bacteria and is also non-staining and non-toxic.

Polypropylene can be enhanced structurally by the reinforcement of glass fibre for the additional load bearing properties required, improving rigidity, surface appearance and durability.

 

Acrylic

Acrylic’s name is well known as being the substitute for glass as being transparent and lighter. It is stronger and less breakable than glass. Its polymer name is less easy to remember, which is Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA).

Acrylic is a special purposed thermoplastic and an economical alternative to polycarbonate (PC) when extreme strength is not necessary. Therefore, it is usually used to make for coffee tables. If it were used to make seating, the design of the seating’s structure to bear load would be a point to note.

To note, there are two types of acrylic, one being the extruded or “continuous cast” acrylic, which may contain impurities, the other is cell cast acrylic is of a higher quality acrylic. Extruded acrylic can be scratched easily.

Therefore, cell cast acrylic should be used for high-quality designer acrylic furniture.

 

Polycarbonate

AlmaPlus_PC-840_RT-865_PC-822_RT-819

Integral Design Polycarbonate Chairs by Alma Plus


Polycarbonate is the more popularly used to make chairs than acrylic. It is similar as acrylic as being transparent and lightweight.

However, acrylic has 17 times the impact resistance of glass, but polycarbonate has 250 times the impact resistance of glass. Therefore, it is stronger than acrylic. Also, polycarbonate provides 100% protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, making it the more favourite material used for designer chairs.

Surely, thermoplastic-made outdoor furniture adds colour and life to contemporary ambience. However, the only downside of thermoplastic-made furniture is that when exposed to a direct flame, it will melt and be burnt. So beware of acrylic chairs not to be use in smoking area.

Find out more about our Mondecasa brand and other indoor furniture.