Cast vs Extruded Acrylic Tubing and Rod



4/10/2018 2:52 pm
Here's the information you need to decide whether CAST or EXTRUDED acrylic tube/rod is correct for your application:

  1. All plastics made by "casting" will always have less built in stress - so the molecular weight will be higher and it will machine better, handle pressure/vacuum better, as well as more resistant to heat and certain chemicals. If you are planning on doing any drilling/tapping or machining you will find that the cast tubing product excels. Otherwise, the extruded acrylic tubing is fine and typically less costly. We do not have pressure ratings available for either product - best to test and review your results.
  2. A cast material is poured in place into a mold. Extruded is squeezed out of a machine. There are light extrusion lines in a clear material - and that is the most obvious difference between the two. The larger the diameter, the more obvious the extrusion lines. In the picture, we picked a large 10" diameter pair of tubes. The cast material is CLEARLY the winner. But that doesn't mean the extruded is bad. Depends on your application.
  3. Cast acrylic rod and tube is then polished after removal from the mold - a labor intensive process which adds to its cost. Optical clarity is excellent in cast tubing, and very good in extruded tubing below 10".
  4. Larger list of sizes available in cast acrylic tube - we can mix and match molds to offer a wide range of wall thicknesses. 

Cast and Extruded tubing supplied by ePlastics are made here in North America. We have a plant in Iowa, and one in Canada. Our Iowa plant makes the cast product - we have an extensive collection of molds and can cast tubing in a long list of sizes with wall thicknesses from 1/8" to 1" thick, and outer diameters to 24" OD.