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See Through Pool Walls

Whether you want to install see-through walls to your home pool or your hotel’s aquarium or spa pool, it is important to know that the process involves labor and creative forces. While you dream up swimming around in your see through pool walls, you might imagine them made of glass.

But, as any industry professional will tell you, the materials’ composition determines the end product’s durability. What this means is that acrylic panels are more durable than panels made of, for example, tempered glass.

Read on to discover what a clear pool wall is made of and everything about these structures. 

See Through Pool Walls 

Unlike walls made from tempered glass, acrylic pool wall-viewing panels are durable, and you will not have to worry about wear and tear. With acrylic walls for see through pools, you won’t have to worry about eventual cracks like with the glass.

Moreover, acrylic is an ideal material when it comes to repairs. If acrylic see through walls are damaged, they can be repolished and refinished without draining the water. On the other hand, you can’t repair glass walls if they are damaged.

Swimming Pool Glass Wall Specification
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: FamVeld

Swimming Pool Glass Wall Specification

Regarding glass-walled pools, whether it’s a hotel pool with a glass wall or a custom-made in-home pool, acrylic is the best choice. Especially considering how much of an investment installing custom-made panels is, using durable materials is the right choice. 

Acrylic is a popular choice for see through walls for aquariums and pools. Acrylic, as a material, is more impact-resistant than glass and harder to break when exposed to high vibrations or hits. This makes the durability of an outdoor acrylic glass panel almost unbreakable. 

Due to the nature of the material, unlike regular glass walls, you will be able to swim in the pool of your dreams, not limited by the restrictions of glass. In fact, acrylic panels may be shaped any way you desire with unlimited size and scalability. 

Essentially, acrylic is unbeatable in several categories when it comes to specifications. This includes material, durability, thickness, weight, visibility, and sustainability.

Material 

Acrylic material for see through walls is also known as “plexiglass”. Even though the word glass is in its name, it should not be confused with real glass. Acrylic pool and see through swim panels are made from refined plastic or acrylate polymers.

So, acrylic or plexiglass is a transparent petroleum-based thermoplastic used as a substitute for aquariums and glass-walled swimming pools. Acrylic is better than glass as it is up to ten times more shatterproof than glass while also being naturally clear and lightweight. 

Flexibility and durability 

Whereas glass is an inflexible material, flexibility is another benefit of acrylic. Acrylic wall panels can withstand tension or pressure due to their flexibility. The surface of acrylic see through walls, like any other surface, may suffer from scratches due to abrasive objects. 

But, unlike other surface materials, damage to acrylic walls is reversible. Professionals, notably those that installed the original swimming pool or aquarium, can remove the damage and restore the original wall surface. 

Thickness and weight 

Glass walls, due to their composition, have a higher density, meaning they are heavier than acrylic panels. Another thing contributing to the heavier weight of glass panels as opposed to clear acrylic walls is the thickness. 

Glass walls are thicker. Even tempered glass, which weighs less than non-tempered, is still heavier compared to acrylic. Acrylic wall panels are thinner yet can hold as much water as glass walls. 

Visibility 

It is important to note that acrylic has the same reflective index as water. This means that the thickness of the acrylic glass panel will be completely unnoticeable. When looking through an acrylic panel, you are unlikely to notice its thickness as it will appear to be paper thin. 

The visibility of acrylic wall panels is due to the acrylic’s light refraction properties. Acrylic allows for up to 92% light transmission. Light refraction is important for visibility as it affects the accuracy of objects’ color, size, and positioning behind the glass walls. 

Glass walls have a higher refraction index than water, meaning the light bends more, leading to less precision. In comparison, acrylic and water have similar refraction indexes, so the light bends less. So, the visibility and precision are better. 

Sustainability 

Although acrylic may be more prone to scratching, it is still more durable than glass. So, while glass panels may be more scratch-resistant once they break, there is no repairing them. On the other hand, you can repair acrylic pool walls to remove the scratches without replacing the entire aquarium or pool.

Sustainability 
Source: Image taken from the official TitanAquaticExhibits website.

Differentiating Between Acrylic and Glass See Through Walls

While acrylic and glass pool walls may look the same at first glance, they could not be more different. In fact, there are several methods that you can use to tell acrylic and glass wall panels apart. 

The sound 

The tapping method is the first method you can try to check if certain pool walls are glass or acrylic. If you have any metal thing on you, like a ring or a key, you can gently tap on the pool panel’s wall surface. 

The sound you hear when you make contact with the surface will tell you what the material is. If the panel is glass, the sound will be high-pitch, while an acrylic panel’s surface will make a dull, thudding sound. 

The temperature 

Another way to check whether a pool’s panels are glass or acrylic is by checking the temperature. You can do so by putting your palm on the outside surface. Glass pool panels will always be colder to the touch

In comparison, an acrylic pool panel retains more warmth, so it will have a warmer temperature when you place your hand on the surface. 

Signs of silicone 

Pools made with glass panels need something to bind them and keep them joined. Manufacturers use silicone to join glass pool panels together. So, check the edges when you want to know what material a pool wall is made of. 

If the edges have silicone binding them together, the panels are glass. In contrast, acrylic does not need silicone to keep it together. So if there are no traces of silicone, the pools’ walls are acrylic.

Types of Acrylic Used in Making a Clear Pool Wall 

When it comes to manufacturing, see through walls for pools and aquariums in the industry most commonly use two types of acrylic. Those are cell-cast and extruded acrylic, so let’s see the differences and benefits of the two. 

Cell-cast 

Making cell-cast acrylic involves pouring liquid acrylic between two sheets of glass. Afterward, the glass sheets are pressed together to cure the liquid and get a solid acrylic sheet. The end product is a high-quality acrylic clear sheet that is strong and resistant to yellowing. 

Cell-cast acrylic finds use in aquarium, stand, see through pool panels, etc. manufacturing. Cell-cast acrylic is beneficial as it is lightweight, impact and scratch resistant, and easy to shape.

Extruded 

Extruded acrylic or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is the other type of acrylic used in pool wall manufacturing. Polymethyl methacrylate, produced from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate, is transparent plastic. 

Extruded acrylic is easy to cut, drill, and shape into different shapes. Extruded acrylic is shatter-resistant, which is safer than glass in places with higher impact risks. Other benefits of extruded acrylic include clarity, lighter weight, UV-damage resistance, strength, and easy maintenance.

Residential, Business, and Institutional Aquarium Custom Pool Panel 

The versatility of acrylic makes it great for custom-made pool panels and aquariums for residential, business, and institutional purposes. With acrylic panels, you can achieve your dream pool look. 

Hoteliers can make their guest’s experience unforgettable with the unique shapes of the spa pool. Whether residential or commercial, with acrylic see through panels, you can achieve exactly the look you have in mind.

Due to its strength, acrylic or plexiglass can withstand even the pressure at the bottom of 33-foot-deep aquariums. This means you can achieve the most luxurious and creative look for your pool without worrying about weight issues. 

Swimming Pool Glass Wall Price 

Regarding the price, acrylic is generally more expensive than glass as it is considered the better of the two options. Acrylic allows you to achieve a stunning look with uniquely-shaped clear wall panels. 

Acrylic clear panels also offer greater strength, clarity, and durability. Expect different costs based on which type of acrylic you choose for your see-through pool walls. Cell-cast acrylic is more expensive than extruded acrylic. 

Consider your needs and discuss the look you want to achieve with your manufacturers. They will recommend the better acrylic option.

Swimming Pool Glass Wall Price 
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Lifestyle Travel Photo

Conclusion 

As you can see, the versatility of acrylic for see through pool walls makes the material among the best options for clarity and durability. Beyond those reasons, acrylic allows for stunningly breathtaking views that will make your pool or aquarium the most attractive sight around. 

Still, when it comes to the type of acrylic you choose, consider the purpose of the glass wall panels and the benefits mentioned above.

Neal Moir

Neal Moir

is the owner at Titan Aquatic Exhibits and brings more than a decade in aquarium and acrylic pool wall manufacturing experience.

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