Top critical review
83 people found this helpful
Beware the translucent...
on November 3, 2012
I ordered two 1/8"-thick pieces, one transparent amber and one translucent red, to make parking-light lenses for an older vehicle I'm restoring. The transparent amber is indeed very transparent, and I'll need to run it through the tumbler to dull it a little. The "translucent" red, on the other hand, simply cannot be rightly described as translucent; it's OPAQUE. It transmits something nearer 5% than 50% of the red light shining through it; it's less translucent than natural acetal or polyethylene (less than Home Depot orange plastic 5-gallon bucket).
Translucency means that it passes most of the color-matched visible light striking its surface, but scatters it so as to obscure details of objects viewed through the material. This material does not fall under that definition. When I finished shaping my new lenses, peeled off the paper, and held one up to my (high-intensity) desk lamp, I couldn't see light through it - only silhouette. I later experimented with an incandescent Mini-Mag flashlight and discovered that this "translucent" red acrylic transmitted almost exactly the same amount of red light as the last joint of my thumb, held tightly over the flashlight lens, did. Therefore, this material has about the same translucency as my thumb.
If you're looking for translucent material, buy the transparent material and abrade its surface. If you're looking for opaque material, buy the "translucent".