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Some people would never think a splashback would be anything other than glass, tiles or stainless steel.
Doing your own splashback can be tough. Glass splashbacks are heavy and notoriously easy to break, especially if you tap an edge.
However there’s a new trend emerging, and it’s shaking up a traditionally conservative industry.
And if you think glass, tiles, aluminium or stainless are superior to acrylic then here’s a few questions to answer first.
What is acrylic? How long has it been around? Where is it used? Is it only used here in Australia? Is it durable for splashbacks? How does it compare to other splashback materials such as glass, tiles and aluminium?
Most people wouldn’t know the answers to most of these questions. But those who do realise that glass and tiles are not superior splashback materials to acrylic.
So what is acrylic and what does polymer mean?
Acrylic is a type of thermoplastic and more broadly a type of polymer.
Now, while this isn’t a chemistry lesson, plastics are a result of chemistry and innovation and there are actually thousands of different types of plastics.
Polymer is a blanket term that includes many categories of plastics/polymers which includes materials such as rubber, vinyl, adhesives, coatings and the list goes on and on and on. There are about 3000 different types of materials fit under the term polymer!
When you see the term polymer (or another brand name) used for splashbacks, make sure you find out exactly that the material is made of. This way you can assess if it is suitable. Using this terminology can mean the material is quite literally anything from rubber, PVC or even the soft and not suitable for splashbacks; polycarbonate.
Some acrylics are used as aircraft windows. Others help cars weigh less making them more fuel efficient. Some acrylics are used as bullet-proof windows, for preserving food by stopping oxygen from reaching it and others are transparent like glass yet much stronger.
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How long has plastic been around?
Around 1600BC the Olmec civilization used rubber to make balls, bands and even figurines.
Now fast forward 3000 years to 1856 and the industrial revolution saw the first modern day acrylic created. It was used for buttons, piano keys and billiard balls to replace ivory.
Now with the history lesson and background information on acrylic out of the way…
Where is acrylic used today?
Acrylic is used everywhere around the world because it’s so versatile. Look around your home, workplace, vehicle, when you are out and about and you will find it’s widely used and in areas you wouldn’t have ever thought of…
They include signage, displays in shopping centres, roof windows, lenses, car tail lights, helmet visors, point of purchase displays at your supermarket, TV screens, equipment guards, commercial aquariums – yep those large panoramic windows your look through at the aquarium are made out of acrylic and not glass.
What type of acrylic is used as splashbacks?
The acrylic commonly used for splashbacks is a form of Poly (methyl) methacrylate (PMMA). Either extruded or cast forms of PMMA and monomer (MMA) are used.
PMMA is optically transparent, so it is clearer than glass used as splashbacks - including ultra-clear and starphire glass! So there is absolutely no green tinge in the acrylic.
PMMA was developed back in 1928 by Rohm & Hass and has been used world-wide since 1933.
Since the inception of PMMA, there are a number of brands on the world market. The original brand is Plexiglas® and to this day, since 1928, has stood the test of time for its unmatched quality, versatility and durability.
It also offers incredible durability from UV, and offers a 30 year no UV yellowing warranty.
PMMA Acrylic is used world-wide in a mind boggling array of uses. Some world-wide uses of Plexiglas® include aircraft windows, greenhouses (checkout the picture at the top of this article featuring a greenhouse in Antarctica made out of Plexiglas acrylic!) windscreens and canopies, TV, PC and tablet monitor screens, ice hockey spectator protection screens to prosthetics, contact lenses and even bone cement.
Quite a few, right?
No wonder it makes such a great splashback.
Features and Benefits of Innovative Splashbacks
Innovative Splashbacks® are made using Plexiglas® PMMA cast acrylic. And by now it should be clear why. You’d be crazy to use anything but the best.
Not only that, the acrylic Innovative Splashbacks® uses:
It is always wise to check the toxicity of the material you are considering using as your splashback.
So make sure you know exactly what the splashback material is made of.
Never, ever put up with blanket terms such as “polymer” which is as phony as a $3 note!
The term polymer can refer to a huge number of different plastic materials. You have to know what your splashback is made of so you can be sure it won’t be toxic or too soft and flexible. A quick check on independent sites will soon give you the information you.
All materials have their pros and con’s. And no material is always the best in every situation. Innovative Splashbacks have created our splashbacks to be the best product available at the most competitive price.
It’s durable, rugged and looks identical to glass without the price tag.
Our acrylics' use is not limited to splashbacks, wall panels or commercial fit outs, it’s durability pedigree proves it fly’s past the expectation of longevity for splashbacks and wall panels.
See our 7 Tips - How To Choose Your Acrylic Splashback for more information on what to look for when choosing splashbacks.