Materials We Use

There are a whole range of materials we supply for vacuum forming and plastic fabrication. Most of the material we stock, some we special order, other things are supplied by our clients. If you can’t find what your looking for feel free to get in touch to talk through your project.

For technical information regarding the densities, UV resistance, H2O absorption etc of materials just give us a bell and we’d be happy to help.

Cast & Extruded Acrylic


Including Coloured, Frosted, Opal, Mirror and Fluorescent Acrylic

The Difference Between Cast & Extruded Acrylic

Extruded acrylic is made by melting acrylic resins and using the liquid to fill a die. The acrylic is then stretched through rollers. This means that it has a much more consistent thickness and size than cast acrylic and is much more suited for using with vacuum forming as it can easily be moulded when heated. The only disadvantage is that it can be susceptible to cracking when choosing poor quality acrylic. At Arcola we purchase Perspex acrylic which is one of the highest standard of plastics available.

Cast acrylic is pushed between two pieces of glass when made. It is usually much more impact resistant than extruded and as such, holes can be drilled and gives a much better finish when laser cut.


Usually regarded as the best replacement for glass as it is as clear as glass yet 200 times stronger and less than half the weight. It is used for applications such as green houses, skylights etc


Approved for food contact applications PETG is favoured for it’s good impact resistance, thermoforming properties and for being one of the most respected and trusted plastic sheets around. It is easy to print directly on to which makes it great for any number of sign making or signage displays.


Alupanel® Aluminium Composite (Di-bond)

ALUPANEL is a premium quality composite panel made from aluminum composite materials featuring two 0.30mm Aluminium sheets, sandwiching a Polyethylene core. We use it at Arcola Products for such products as lightboxes, signage and custom portfolios.

Foamed PVC

Foamed PVC sheets are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. The sheets are mainly used for advertising, construction and industry due their lightweight, durable and versatile surfaces which can be painted, printed, engraved or milled, according to customer specifications. One of the most important features of the foamed PVC sheets is it’s lower heat transmission and it’s flame retardant properties making it safe to use in a multitude of environments.

Rigid PVC

Incredibly smooth and features a bright surface. Can be digital printed on, glued, bonded and laminated.


Polystyrene has good impact resistance and is very lightweight, can easily be extruded, injection moulded, or compression moulded. Usually used for trays, packaging.

Rod & Tube


With it’s hygienic and thermal properties Polypropylene is used for food containers etc.

High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)

HIPS is a first class material that offers excellent price performance balance. It combines excellent forming with good colouration and mechanical properties. Available in a wide range of colours and finishes, hips is used in a large number of applications, such as point of sale, signage, model making, tray forming, templating and printing.


Acetal has high strength, stiffness and toughness. It also has a high resistance to chemical and solvents. It is relatively lightweight but tough and wear-resistant. Acetal often has light surface scratches so do not recommend it as a good material to use for appearance products.