Plastic Tube Manufacturers Weigh In:

Which Acrylic is Best, Cast vs. Extruded?


Acrylic tubing is traditionally created by plastic tube manufacturers in one of two ways. It is either cast or it is extruded. But, what do these two terms really mean, and which one is best?

Here, US Cast breaks down these two types of acrylic tubing, finally resolving the question of: Cast vs. extruded acrylic – which is best?   

How is Cast Acrylic Made?

Acrylic that is "casted" is made by pouring the liquid acrylic materials into a mold. The mixture undergoes a chemical process while in the mold, eventually creating a homogeneous material that has equivalent properties in all directions.

How is Extruded Acrylic Made?

Acrylic tubing that is extruded is produced by continuously pushing the semi-soft acrylic materials through a form. In extrusion, the chemical process takes place as the materials are being pushed through the form. As a result, extruded acrylic is heterogeneous, with properties that can vary depending on the direction.

Which is Better?

Cast acrylic is usually regarded as having a higher quality than acrylic that has been made using the extrusion method. However, while similar, these two types of acrylic are actually two different materials with separate advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, there is more tension in extruded acrylic. Cast acrylic, on the other hand, offers a much wider range of benefits, including:

  • It has a higher resistance to solvents
  • It is more resistant to scratches
  • It has better heat resistance
  • It can be produced in a wider range of colors, thicknesses and sizes
  • It is unaffected by sunlight or fluorescent light
  • It resists aging
  • It maintains its stability over a wide range of environmental and chemical conditions
  • It has higher molecular weight
  • It has higher tensile strength and less built-in stress
  • It offers greater clarity
  • It offers better machinability

Extruded acrylic is often less expensive than cast acrylic because for all intents and purposes, cast acrylic is a vastly superior product.

Get the Highest Quality Acrylic Rods from the Best Plastic Tube Manufacturers

US Cast specializes in manufacturing high-quality cast acrylic rods and tubes that conform to specifications of ASTM D5436; are certified by the FDA for food contact according to CFR 21 177.1010; and are UL approved for flame resistance according to UL 94HB. Our rods are manufactured in lengths from five feet to eight feet, depending on diameter and can be custom cut to any length. Rods are manufactured in thirty-two diameters, ranging from 1/4" to 6".

If your project calls for high quality acrylic rods, contact US Cast today at 856-347-2342. We have been one of the leading American plastic tube manufacturers for more than 50 years.

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