Acrylic Sheets vs. Glass: A Comparison for Malaysian Architects and Designers


When it comes to architectural and design projects, the choice of materials can significantly impact the final outcome. Acrylic sheets and glass are two popular options used for various applications. In this comparison, we will explore the key characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of acrylic sheets and glass, specifically tailored to the needs of Malaysian architects and designers.

Material Properties

Acrylic Sheets: Acrylic is a synthetic polymer derived from petroleum-based substances. It is lightweight, durable, and offers excellent transparency, making it an ideal alternative to traditional glass. Acrylic sheets can also be manufactured in various colours and textures, providing versatility in design options.

Glass: Glass is a classic material used in construction and design for centuries. It is made from natural resources like sand and soda ash and is known for its exceptional clarity and hardness. Glass comes in various types, including tempered, laminated, and annealed, each offering specific properties suitable for different applications.

Transparency and Clarity

Acrylic Sheets: Acrylic boasts impressive optical clarity, with transparency comparable to glass. However, over time, it may be prone to yellowing due to exposure to sunlight and weather elements, impacting its transparency.

Glass: Glass offers unparalleled transparency and clarity, maintaining its pristine appearance for extended periods. It is highly resistant to UV rays and weathering, making it a more reliable option for long-term applications.

Durability and Impact Resistance

Acrylic Sheets: Acrylic is renowned for its impact resistance, making it an excellent choice for areas prone to high traffic or potential impacts. It is less likely to shatter than glass, making it a safer option, especially in environments with children or heavy machinery.

Glass: While glass is relatively hard, it is more brittle compared to acrylic. Standard glass can break upon significant impact, creating potential safety hazards in certain scenarios. However, tempered or laminated glass can enhance its impact resistance.


Acrylic Sheets: Acrylic is significantly lighter than glass, making it easier to handle, transport, and install. This weight advantage can also reduce structural support requirements in certain applications.

Glass: Glass is relatively heavier, which might necessitate stronger structural support, particularly in large-scale projects.

Thermal Insulation

Acrylic Sheets: Acrylic provides better thermal insulation compared to glass. It has a lower thermal conductivity, helping to maintain a more consistent indoor temperature and potentially reducing energy consumption for climate control.

Glass: Glass has higher thermal conductivity, making it less effective in insulating against heat transfer. This can lead to increased energy usage for cooling or heating in buildings.


Acrylic Sheets: Acrylic generally tends to be more cost-effective than glass, especially for larger projects. Its lower production costs contribute to its affordability.

Glass: Glass, depending on the type and processing required, can be more expensive than acrylic.


In conclusion, both acrylic sheets and glass offer distinct advantages and disadvantages for Malaysian architects and designers. Acrylic sheets are a versatile and cost-effective option, ideal for applications requiring impact resistance and lightweight properties. On the other hand, glass stands out for its exceptional clarity and durability, making it suitable for long-lasting, premium designs. The decision between these materials should be based on the specific requirements of each project, considering factors like budget, design preferences, safety concerns, and environmental conditions.