North Alabama Glass Company since 

625 Second Avenue S.E.          Decatur, Alabama 35816
(256) 353-9181                         FAX # (256) 353-9197

Contact us:

Emergency After-Hours Beeper (256) 552-8489


Acrylic, Plexiglas and Lexan

     When you need greater impact resistance than glass, North Alabama Glass stocks a full line of plastic glazing including Optix Acrylics, Plexiglas®, Polycarbonates and Lexan® 9034 sheets in a full range of thicknesses from 1/16" up to 3/4" thick.  We carry popular clear sheets in 4' x 8' sizes as well as obscure, colors and translucent sheets.
      Acrylics are approximately 17 times more impact resistant than standard float glass while polycarbonates are more than 200 times more resistant to impact chipping or breaking than glass.  In fact, in everyday use polycarbonate is usually considered "unbreakable".  Acrylics are often used in a variety of areas where safety or security is a priority.  And in extreme cases where breakage cannot be tolerated, (such as airplane and helicopter windows or storefront windows) we offer GE brand Lexan®, which includes a one year warranty against breakage of any sort (with the except of gunshots).  Polycarbonates such as Lexan are used in motorcycle windshields and race cars and for hurricane/tornado resistant windows. And when combined in layers, polycarbonate makes for clear visibility with the added security of bullet-resistance.

     If you would like a quote on Optix Acrylic®, Plexiglas® or Lexan® please use the form at the bottom of this page or email us at

Weight of Glass vs Acrylic or Polycarbonate

     Both acrylics and polycarbonates are approximately 50% lighter in weight than glass.  They can be easily heat-formed into almost any form or shape.  Acrylic and lexan offer more clarity than glass because neither absorbs visible light like glass. 

Safety of Acrylic/Polycarbonate vs Glass

      In 1977 the Consumer Product Safety Commission "outlawed" the use of annealed glass in doors and other areas considered dangerous - mainly glass next to doors and glass that is within 18" of the floor (ANSI Z 97.1 for Safety Glazing Materials used in Buildings).  The solution for manufacturers was to replace regular annealed glass with heat-tempered safety glass.  A drawback is that tempered glass cannot be cut once it is tempered so it has to be ordered from the factory to the exact size.  Acrylic, on the other hand, meets the requirements of the safety regulations AND can be cut to size in our shop.  That makes it a great substitute when time is of the essence.  


     On the downside, both acrylic and polycarbonate are more expensive than glass.  A rough rule of thumb is that acrylic is 40% to 75% higher in cost than similar thickness glass, while polycarbonate is 60% to 100% higher in cost than glass. While both acrylic and polycarbonate are more impact resistant than glass, both also scratch much easier than glass.  In fact, the biggest drawback for most consumers is the fact that acrylic and polycarbonate scratch easily when compared to glass.  One alternative is acrylic or polycarbonate with abrasion resistant surfaces that resist scratching.  Unfortunately those abrasive resistant products are too expensive to be used for everyday purpose.  For the best UV and abrasions resistance, use LEXAN® MR10 polycarbonate sheet. This sheet product is recommended for high traffic and high impact areas.

Tensile Strength of Acrylic/Polycarbonate vs Glass

      Acrylic and polycarbonate have greater impact resistant than glass but they also flex much easier than glass.  Acrylic needs to be almost twice as thick as regular glass in order to withstand the same wind load requirement. When used as a shelf, acrylic will need to be 2-1/2 to 3 times thicker than float glass in order to support the same weight.

Effect of Heat and Cold on Acrylic/Polycarbonate vs Glass

       Acrylic will expand and contract at a factor of about 8 times when compared to glass.  In laymen's term that means that while glass doesn't visibly expand or contract when exposed to heat or cold temperatures, acrylic and polycarbonate does.  Customers must allow extra clearance around the edges to keep the acrylic/polycarbonate from bowing.  Also while glass won't typically burn at temperatures usually seen outside of laboratories, acrylic and polycarbonate are also flame retardant but they will burn if exposed to high temperatures and exposed flame for long periods of time.  (Side note - Lexan polycarbonate was often used for riot control and securety inside of prisons and jails until prisoners found that they could ignite the polycarbonate by using cigarettes to burn holes in the material.)  That ability also allows acrylic and lexan to be bent and formed using heat and to retain its shape once it is cooled.


About Acrylic:

      Acrylic is sold in two principal forms based on the process used to manufacture it - "cast" or "extruded".  In years past cast acrylic was the premium version when clarity was an important factor.  The extruded version was known for having distortions and waves.  However, advances in technology have made extruded acrylic suitable for almost every normal use at a much lower cost.  It is the industry standard for the majority of sales to consumers. 

Extruded Sheets:

      The vast majority of what we stock and sell to consumers is Plaskolite's OPTIX Acrylic.
  Impact and weather resistant, crystal clear or colored, OPTIX is a versatile, general-purpose acrylic sheet. Ideal for almost any application, OPTIX boasts a high molecular weight that enables superior fabrication and forming. It’s the industry choice for point-of-purchase displays, lighting and furniture. OPTIX exceeds industry standards for quality. It's impact-resistance, up to three times greater than double strength window glass; and up to five times stronger than wire glass, prohibits shattering. OPTIX clear acrylic sheets are backed by a 10-year limited non-yellowing warranty.  OPTIX is available in many color and pattern options and can be ordered in custom sizes and thicknesses.

Optix® Acrylic Sheet Properties
Physical Properties ASTM Test Method Units Values
Specific Gravity D-792   1.19
Optical Refractive Index D-542   1.49
Light Transmittance



Sound Transmission
E 90
E 413
Water Absorption
By Weight
Mechanical Properties ASTM Test Method Units Values

Tensile Strength - Max.
Tensile Elongation - Max.  5.8
Tensile Modulus of Elasticity psi 490,000



Flexural Strength - Max.
Flexural Modulus of Elasticity

D-790 psi

Izod Impact Strength
Molded Notch
Izod Impact Strength
Milled Notch Notch



Tensile Impact Strength D-1822 ft-lb/in2 20

Abrasion Resistance
Change in Haze
0 cycles
10 cycles 
50 cycles
200 cycles



Haze, %
Haze, %
Haze, %
Haze, %

Rockwell Hardness D-785   M-95
Thermal Properties ASTM Test Method Units Values
Maximum Recommended Continuous
Service Temperature
  °F  170-190
Softening Temperature   °F 210-220
Melting Temperature   °F 300-315
Deflection Temperature
264 psi
66 psi



Coefficient of Thermal
-30 to 30°C

Thermal Conductivity
C-177 BTU-ft/

(Burning Rate)

Smoke Density Rating D-2843 % 3.4

Self-Ignition Temperature

D-1929  °F 833
Flame Spread Index 
Smoke Developed Index 550
Chemical Properties      

Resistance to Stress - Critical Crazing Stress to:

Isopropyl Alcohol
Lacquer Thinner
Solvesso 100




These suggestions and data are based on information we believe to be reliable. They are offered in good faith, but without guarantee, as conditions and methods of use are beyond our control.  We recommend that the prospective user determine the suitability of our materials and suggestions before adopting them on a commercial scale.  Plaskolite, Inc. Columbus, OH


Cast Sheets:
Cast is a premium version of acrylic and is usually not sold for every day use by consumers. It has a higher continuous service temperature 180 F (Cast) vs. 160 F (Extruded).  It has a higher formability temperature and a higher molecular weight.  It can be fabricated in a cleaner manner.  As you cut, rout or drill cast acrylic, the shavings will flake off whereas the extruded acrylic shavings can gum up on the tool.  It also offers better glue-joint effectiveness and performs better in laser cutting.

To clean ACRYLITE acrylic sheet, use a mild soap and water solution. Wipe with a soft cloth. For more information read this article Caring For Acrylite


About Lexan® :

Lexan polycarbonate is one of the most widely known "plastics". Lexan sheet with its unique combination of high impact strength, flame retardancy, and thermoformability makes it ideally suited for security applications. No other plastic can match Lexan's combination of light transmittance (clarity), and the ability to withstand extreme impact.

In thicknesses of .125", Lexan® 9034 sheet will transmit 86% of the light. Lexan 9034 is UV stabilized, has a heat deflection temperature of 270 degrees F at 264 PSI, and has a smoke density rating less than 75. Lexan 9034 is engineered for window glazing as well as for sign applications. In addition to colorless (clear), Lexan 9034 is available in solar gray and bronze in thicknesses from .080" to .500".

Lexan® XL is a solar grade sheet which provides superior UV resistance in addition to offering high thermal insulation values. Applications for Lexan XL include skylights, space enclosures, covered walkways, and sloped and vertical glazing.

Lexan® with Scratch Resistance:
Lexan MR10 Margard provides the superior impact resistance of Lexan 9034 with the advantage of an abrasion resisting state-of-the-art coating. Lexan Margard is unsurpassed in high vandalism areas such as schools, bus stops, public buildings, storefronts, shopping malls, and wherever clarity, safety, and security are required.

Attributes of LEXAN® 9034, Polycarbonate Sheet products include:

  • 250 times the impact strength of glass
  • Excellent light transmission
  • Excellent sound abatement properties
  • Can be cold and hot formed
  • Superior insulating properties
  • Good sound abatement properties
  • Available in transparent (clear), tinted, and colors
  • Printability

Engineering specifications for LEXAN® 9034 Polycarbonate Sheet Products:

  • Tensile Strength – 9,500 psi
  • Compressive Strength – 12,500 psi
  • Water Absorption (24 hours) – 0.15%
  • Heat Deflection Temperature @66 psi - .280°F
  • Brittle Temperature -211°F
  • Flammability - Horizontal Burn (Flame Spread) AEB, Value <1

To download a specification sheet on Lexan 9030 - 9034 click here.


      Plexiglas is the trademark name for acrylic as developed by Rohm & Haas in the 1930s.  In fact, the name Plexiglas® became synonymous for all types of acrylic.  Rohm and Haas is now a part of Arkema, Inc. and Elf Atochem North America, Inc. AtoHaas was formed as a global joint venture between Elf Atochem S.A. and Rohm and Haas for the production and sale of acrylic and polycarbonate sheet products and acrylic molding resins.

      Inside the United States, Acrylite® is the brand name for acrylic manufactured by Cyro and Optix Acrylic is the brand name manufactured by Plaskolite.  

      Lexan® is the trademark of General Electric's brand of polycarbonate.   We sell Lexan® 9034 sheets.  For the sake of brevity Lexan = polycarbonate and Plexiglas/Acrylite = acrylic. 

      And in the comparison above, glass means annealed float glass - what most people refer to as plate glass.  By comparison, heat-tempered safety glass is 6 to 9 times stronger than annealed float glass. 


Do you need an estimate?

Please provide the following contact information:


       Include a brief explanation of what you want quoted in the box below: 
       Include basic information such as the type of product - i.e. tabletop glass, cabinet glass, insulated glass for window, etc. and include any details you think might be helpful such as the color of the glass, quantities and approximate sizes. 
       If you want an installed price, be sure to list an address or at least a general location where it will be installed.  Often the labor on windows will vary depending on the type of window so an address can be helpful because some window types are prevalent in particular areas.  Even more helpful are digital pictures.  You can email pictures to 
      Please note that we are a local company serving only the area of North Alabama.  We are not set up to ship or sell outside of North Alabama.  Because of the large number of internet requests that we get, we only respond to quote requests if we can verify that the customer is in North Alabama.
      Our salesperson will email or call you back within one working day.


      If you prefer, you may also get an estimate by sending an email to



Residential Products
* Insulated Glass
* Replacement Window Panes
* Table Tops
* Plexiglas (Acrylics)
* Lexan (Polycarbonate)
* Storm Windows
* Window Tinting
* Mirrors
* Storefronts
* Shower Doors
* Custom Shower Enclosures
* Screens
* Patio Door Rollers & Parts
* Beveled Mirrors
* Storm Doors
* Window Tinting
* Plate Glass
* Glass Replacements
* Tempered Safety Glass
* Low-E Glass
* Medium Performance Glass
* High Performance Glass
* Glass For Cabinet Doors
* Restoration "Antique" Glass

* Job Application
* Resources
* Contact Us
* Directions
* Company History
* Home
* Charity Giving
* Credit Application
* About Us

Custom Shower Enclosures
* Heavy All-Glass Custom
   Shower Enclosures

* Exotic Bath Combinations 
* Tub Bypass Enclosures
* ShowerGuard Glass Coating by Guardian  
* Tub Screen Panels
* Framed Shower Enclosures
* Unframed Shower Enclosure
* Portals Shower Hardware 
* Cardinal Shower Enclosures
* Shower Hardware
* Metal Finishes
* Glass Options
* Care and Maintenance

Services & Repairs
* Fogged Glass Replacement
* Patio Door Glasses
* Windows
* Re-screening
* Contract Glazing
* Scratch Removal
* ClearShield Protective Coating

* Service Work
* Emergency After-Hours Service
Commercial Products
* Insulated Glass
* Window Panes
* Emergency After-Hours Service
* Door Parts, Closers,  Handles
* Storefront Door Pivots
* Storefront Doors & Entrances
* Commercial Storefront Frames
* Curtainwall Framing

* Bullet-Resistant Systems
* Skylight Replacements
* Serving Windows
* Automatic Doors
* Firelite Specialty Glass
* Handicapped Door Closers

Specialty Products
* Convex Portrait Glasses
* Sideview Auto Mirrors  
* Curved China Cabinet Glasses
* Stainless Steel Framed Mirrors
* Security Glass  
* Caulking & Glazing Tapes
* Decorative Glasses
* X-Ray Protection Leaded Glass

Auto Glass
* Windshields
* Door & Back Glasses
* Motorhomes & RVs
* Glass for Heavy Equipment (Cranes, Loaders, Back-Hoes, Lifts, Chippers, Waste Loaders)
* Glass for Boats and Barges 
* Glass for Railroad Equipment

Industrial Products
* Borosilicate Plates
* Pyrex  
* Pyroceram Fireplace Glasses
* Wire Glass
* Storefront Doors
* Commercial Storefront Frames
* Skylight Replacements
* Serving Windows
* Qualified/Trained Employees
* Tubing & Sight Glasses
* Panels
* Door Parts, Closers, Pivots, Handles
* Acrylic, Plexiglas, Lexan
* Mar-Resistant Lexan

 Contact Information
  Visit our store and showroom at:
     625 Second Avenue S.E.
     Decatur, Alabama 35601

    Decatur      (256) 353-9181
    Fax              (256) 353-9197

Emergency Beeper for After Hours Service (256) 552-8489  
 © 2012 North Alabama Glass Company, Inc.