Given its important properties, Plexiglas is often used as an alternative to glass.
The most well-known differences between Plexiglas and glass are:

  • lower density than that of glass, that of Plexiglas is 1.19 g/cm3 and is about half that of glass;
  • Plexiglas is unbreakable;
  • Plexiglas unlike glass is a softer material and more susceptible to scratches and abrasions; with suitable coating this obstacle can be overcome;
  • Plexiglas can be molded by heating at relatively low temperatures;
  • Plexiglas is more transparent than glass;
  • Plexiglas does not stop ultraviolet light and is coated with special films when necessary;
  • Plexiglas is transparent to infrared light up to 2800 nm, while light of longer wavelengths is substantially blocked;

Plexiglass pieces can be cold welded using cyanoacrylate-based adhesives or by dissolving their surface layers with an appropriate solvent-dichloromethane or chloroform. The seam that is created is almost invisible. The sharp edges of plexiglass can also be easily polished and made transparent. However, professional glues are made with two- to five-component cure glues; the difference in quality with these glues coupled with the toxicity/carcenogenicity of most solvents is in fact supplanting the one-component glues.
Plexiglass burns in the presence of air at temperatures above 460 °C; its complete combustion produces carbon dioxide and water.

Analogous to plexiglass, but with a hydrogen atom in place of the methyl group (CH3) protruding from the main chain, is polymethyl acrylate, a polymer that looks like a soft rubber.