The name styrene is not something people are familiar with since it’s relatively new. Some producers may try to pass off styrene as acrylic to novice buyers.
So it’s common to wonder, what is styrene glass?
Styrene glass is one type of acrylic. They are generally ⅓ inch thick and comparatively flexible. Such glasses are lightweight and easy to transport. They are one kind of shatter-resistant substance as well. There are mainly 2 types of styrene glasses available.
The above-mentioned information isn’t enough I understand. So, let’s get into the detailed conversation to get a 360° perspective-
What’s Styrene Glass?
If you belong to the world of photography, you must’ve already heard different photography jargon.
However, now you can ask, what is styrene?
Styrene is basically a type of clear acrylic that is flexible and ⅓ of an inch thick. Moreover, low-cost, lightweight, and shatter-resistant, styrene is a popular glazing option.
So, in short, styrene glass is a glass with styrene glaze. They are generally lighter in density and integrated with smooth frosted edges.
Also, cleaning the glass is very simple if you know how to clean styrene glass. You’ll just need to get yourself a high-quality multi-surface glass cleaner and you’re almost done.
So here are some of the recommendations that you can definitely start with-
Now, let’s see how many types of styrene glass you can get in the market.
Types of Styrene Glass
Generally, for styrene’s lightweight and shatter resistance, it can be used in two forms. These two forms are namely-
- Clear Styrene Plastic Glass
- Diffused Styrene Plastic Glass
Clear Styrene Plastic Glass
Polystyrene is a clear extruded plastic sheet that is typically called Styrene. It is more prone to scratching and is less transparent.
Some polystyrene sheets that you can easily get are-
So, this regular Styrene has the same surface reflection issues as regular glass.
You see, your picture framing styrene is normally 1.2 to 3 millimeters thick. Therefore, you’ll be able to save your money in small panel sizes such as Clip and Photo Frames.
Diffused Styrene Plastic Glass
This form of Styrene is sometimes called “Anti-Glare” material as well. It’s because it comes in dispersed reflection form. The sheet is rolled on one side to provide a roughened surface.
Hence, you can use the ArtToFrames 16×20 non-glare glass for your picture and poster frames.
Among the explained 2 types, clear styrene plastic glass is more available.
The Purpose of Styrene Glass
So, now you might be thinking, what is styrene used for? Well, there are several purposes. Here we will be discussing the purposes one-by-one-
While using it for projects, customers might question how to cut styrene glass. You see, compared to others, styrene glass transition temperature is at an ideal level. So, the cutting process shouldn’t be a big issue here.
However, understanding your options for cutting styrene glass is important to a successful first cut. Therefore, you can watch the following video to know how to cut glass with just a TC-90 Toyo Cutter.
I would say, the photographers especially know the valuable usage of this glass. Because capturing a perfect photo isn’t a cakewalk.
In such cases, you need to maintain a lot of things like cameras, lights, etc. You also need to know about your photography sandbags filler.
So, after all this hard work, anyone would want to showcase their work in the best frame. And that’s where styrene glass comes in.
No this isn’t all! There are some more important uses of styrene glass.
Let’s take a look at the following sections-
In terms of interior design and glazing, styrene is a cost-effective solution. Indoor uses are mentioned below-
Some might wonder if to choose styrene or plexiglass for framing. Unlike plexiglass, styrene is inexpensive and provides many benefits.
Although, it has some slight drawbacks that might hinder your framing task.
When designing products for outdoor use, styrene glass is effective too. Here get some uses-
- Greenhouse panels
- Outdoor Shed
- Outdoor Furniture
Despite many usages, there are health hazards too which should be considered accordingly. After all, it’s a plastic material.
Pros of Styrene Glass
Styrene has many characteristics that make it an optimal choice for many projects. Let’s take a look at all the advantages we can derive from Styrene glass.
- Cheapest option out there. It is a lightweight product. It allows for low-cost transport and shipping
- More rigid which means that it will hold its shape longer.
Moreover, if you’re attaching it with great quality and strong adhesive then it’ll last even longer. So, the styrene glues we would recommend for you are-
- Lighter in Density.
- Comes with Smooth Frosted Edges.
- Styrene is a shatter-resistant substance that is appropriate for places requiring safety. Such as hospitals and primary schools.
- Styrene is the material of choice if humidity is a concern for the integrity of the frame’s contents. It is a better insulator than glass and is less prone to condensation.
So, now you know, styrene is widely used for many reasons. It enables a multitude of products to deliver many cost-effective benefits. Hence, it’s highly valued by consumers.
Cons of Styrene Glass
Every inexpensive alternative comes with unwanted consequences. The consequences are listed below-
- It will turn opaque over time and it gets yellow with exposure to UV light
- More susceptible to damage
- More rigid which means it can hold the shape longer. But that also means that it can break easier too. It can happen if it’s mishandled since it has less flexibility and tolerance to bend.
- Styrene has a matte finish which might not be a preferred look for everyone.
Regardless of these consequences, styrene glass is a budget-friendly option for customers.
Comparison Between Styrene Glazing and Other Glazings
In this part, you are going to learn the comparison between styrene and other glazings
Glass is very heavy in weight. They are clear in their transparency, and prone to shattering because of their weight.
Do you know about Acrylic/plexiglass? It is basically very glasslike in quality without the downsides of it. It provides a comparable level of strength and clarity.
However, it has higher shatter resistance when compared to glass. Therefore, this also makes it the most expensive option.
PETG is one of the most durable, flexible, and virtually unbreakable glazings. It’s a clear, amorphous, thermoplastic that can be colored during fabrication.
So, at last, we can say, Styrene is easily transportable, lightweight, and more economical than any other.
So the question again arises, is styrene better than glass?
Yes, because it’s both stronger and safer than glass.
Is Styrene a Plastic?
Yes, it’s an easily machined, versatile, and economical plastic. Styrene is chemically linked to create polystyrene, which is a solid plastic.
What’s the Price of Styrene?
The global price of Styrene amounted to 1,004.1 U.S. dollars per metric ton in 2019 which increased to 1,335 U.S. dollars per metric ton in 2021
Where Should I Use Styrene as Opposed to Other Glazings?
You can use it in Lightweight protective packaging, and printing applications. Also, they can be used for the composition of products, e.g. automobile components, wind turbine parts etc.
That’s all I’ve got to say about what is styrene glass.
Before buying styrene, consider your criteria. Styrene is the right choice for you if you solely consider pricing.
However, alternatives also exist for longer-lasting, more professional displays. Testing samples of each will offer you the assurance that you’ve chosen the correct glazing.