Discovering the World of Plastic Fabrication: Acrylic, Starboard, PVC, and Polycarbonate

Posted by Conner Bruce on

Welcome to the fascinating world of plastic fabrication, where innovation meets practicality in creating diverse, durable, and aesthetic products. In this blog post, we'll delve into the uses and applications of four prominent materials in the plastic industry: Acrylic, Starboard, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), and Polycarbonate.


Also known as plexiglass, acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic often used as a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Its high clarity and ability to be fabricated in various colors and finishes make it a highly versatile material.

The applications of acrylic are manifold. It's often used in signage, displays, and store fixtures due to its excellent aesthetic properties. Acrylic also finds a place in residential and commercial aquariums, owing to its strength and clarity. Furthermore, its shatter-resistant quality makes it an ideal choice for safety shields, security barriers, and even bulletproof windows.


Starboard, or marine-grade polymer, is a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that offers superior performance in wet environments. It's resilient to water, salt, and sun, making it an excellent material for outdoor applications.

Starboard is commonly used in the marine industry for components like hatches, doors, grab handles, tray tables, and swim platforms. Its resistance to warping, rotting, and delaminating also makes it ideal for outdoor cabinetry and furniture. It's a low-maintenance material, perfect for withstanding harsh environmental conditions while retaining its aesthetics.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC is an immensely popular plastic, known for its durability, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. It can be both rigid (for construction applications) and flexible (for clothing and tubing), enhancing its range of uses.

Rigid PVC is used in construction for pipes, doors, windows, and siding. Its resistance to corrosion and chemical damage makes it an excellent choice for industrial applications, such as chemical storage and transport. On the other hand, flexible PVC is used in electrical cable insulation, inflatable products, and many healthcare applications like intravenous (IV) bags and tubing.


Polycarbonate is a strong, tough, and heat-resistant material. It's highly transparent, with better light transmission than many types of glass.

This material finds wide usage in applications where safety and impact resistance are crucial. It's used for bulletproof windows, riot shields, and eyewear. Its high heat resistance makes it an excellent material for various electronic applications. In the construction industry, polycarbonate is used in greenhouses, skylights, and exterior lighting fixtures.

In summary, the world of plastic fabrication is vast and versatile, with each material offering unique benefits and a multitude of applications. Acrylic, Starboard, PVC, and Polycarbonate are just a few examples of how these materials have shaped and continue to shape our world, driving innovation across industries.

Whether you're looking to embark on a DIY project or need materials for industrial usage, understanding these different types of plastics and their properties will guide you to the best choice for your specific needs. As always, make sure to prioritize sustainability by recycling and repurposing plastic materials wherever possible, helping to reduce the environmental impact of these incredibly versatile materials.

Stay tuned for more in-depth articles exploring the world of plastic fabrication in the future.

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