In the era of social distancing, Plexiglas business is shining brightly. Plexiglas is the new gold, according to Brian Franch, president of Canadian company Peregrine Retail Design Management. Plexiglass was not widely used before Kovid-19. But the demand for Plexiglas has increased since the lockdown began. Plexiglass is in such demand that its prices have gone up by 12%.
After opening shops in countries like USA, Canada, Italy, United Kingdom etc., all have installed panels of Plexiglass in their billing counters so that there is a security wall between the customer and the staff. Plexiglass maintains a full glass-like transparency, does not break down as it becomes lighter and is easier to clean. It is cheaper than glass. Plexiglass is also called acrylic and is a petroleum-based thermoplastic.
The material of Plexiglas is called poly methyl methacrylate and was discovered by scientists in laboratories of different countries in the 1920–30s. The item named Plexiglas was made by German scientists in 1933 and three years later it came on the market. Plexiglass is made by polymerization and is molded and shaped into sheets. Plexiglass is used in sound inhibitors, aquariums, display cases, brochure holders, photo frames, partitions, etc.
The major companies making it are Rohm, Acrylite, Lucite, Polycast, Optics and Chemcast. A company called Perspex has stated that its production has increased 300 percent compared to February due to demand.
Transparent and colored acrylic plexiglass sheets are available in India at prices ranging from Rs 250 per kg to Rs 2300 per sheet. Companies making it have dozens of units including Acrylic Sheet India of Pune, Shreeji ACP of Ahmedabad, Flex Enterprises of Ahmedabad, Acrylic India of Delhi, Prakash Acrylics of Chennai. Most units are closed due to lockdown.