Cast vs Extruded Acrylic Tubing and Rods


When it comes to acrylic rods and tubes, there are two primary manufacturing processes to pick from – cast or extruded. Each offers their own strengths, but what are the core differences between these two plastic manufacturing types?

Here, US Cast, one of the industry’s leading cast acrylic rod manufacturers shares the four predominant differences and why cast almost always beats out extruded plastic.

Casted Rods and Tubes Have Less Built-In Stress

Acrylic rods and tubes that are made using the cast method have less built-in stress than extruded versions, which essentially squeeze the plastic out of the machine. Therefore, casted plastic will also have a higher molecular weight and this can make a difference in a wide array of applications. For instance, if your application calls for heat- or chemical-resistant plastics, then casted acrylic will perform better than extruded acrylic. Casted acrylic is also better suited to perform in high pressure or vacuum settings and it is the best choice for applications that include drilling, tapping, and machining.

This is not to say that extruded acrylic is bad. It is very suitable for a wide range of other applications and it is typically less expensive than cast.   

Cast Material Doesn’t Have Extrusion Lines

Because extruded acrylic is squeezed out of an extruding machine, the process causes light extrusion lines to form on the surface of the rod or tube. Cast material, on the other hand, is poured into the mold, so no such lines are formed. And, the larger the diameter of the rod or tube, the more evident the lines. Again, this does not mean that the extruded material is bad. It simply means that cast acrylic is the better choice for applications that demand crystal clear rods and tubes.

Optical Clarity is Best With Cast Acrylic

Since cast acrylic doesn’t feature the extrusion lines of extruded acrylic, it has superior optical clarity. Of course, in order to obtain that level of clarity, the cast acrylic rod and tube is polished once it is removed from the mold. This is a labor intensive process that adds to the cost of the material. Therefore, for applications that call for optimum clarity, cast acrylic is the “clear” winner.  

Cast Offers Greater Manufacturing Flexibility

For the most part, extruded acrylic is limited in size and dimension. But, cast acrylic offers much more flexibility because it is poured into molds. Therefore, you can choose from a larger list of sizes in cast acrylic tube and rod. And molds can be mixed and matched for form a wide variety of different wall thicknesses.

Need Premium Cast Acrylic Rods and Tubes for Your Application? Call US Cast

US Cast is one of the industry’s leading cast acrylic rod and tube manufacturers. We can custom fabricate acrylic rods and tubes for any application and for any industry purpose. To learn more about the qualities of our premium plastics or to place a custom order, just give us a call today at 856-347-2342 or connect with us on Facebook. We look forward to helping you get the acrylic products you need.


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