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I received a reply from Wayde King of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing. He says that the statement about glass referred to ordinary window glass. Here is the reply.
Is Acrylic clearer than glass? -Making your products and livestock look great and stay healthy
We create product displays, podiums, jewelry cases, and more… -All the way across the board to custom acrylic aquariums that we have created to be placed in professional establishments. As we explore the choice between glass and acrylic, we can’t help but wonder how acrylic materials are so much more clear than glass.
A study of the light that passes through materials has shown that while conventional glass will typically filter out much light including some in the visible spectrum, acrylic resin (Plexiglas) does not. It leaves light untouched for the most part.
Why is this important? If I was using a display case for living plants, or creating a top for a reef aquarium, I would need to be certain that the deep parts of the ultraviolet spectrum are passing through to my plants and animals. Glass may diminish the health of my live stock, and in the case of corals, leave them drab and gloomy.
Light spectrum chart for acrylic vs glassScientists have discovered that while glass will usually start to take much of the visible and invisible light spectrum out, Acrylic / Plexi will not. Acrylic material has the same refraction pattern as water. Glass is all over the place and is simply expensive to engineer it for the spectral output one desires. Please see the chart below to compare Acrylic, Glass, and the light measured on an average (good weather) day. Clearly, we can see how the glass starts to filter out the upper visible spectrum and in other charts can be seen to be unreliable in other parts of the EM spectrum.
It appears one could make lenses of acrylic, but it would pass unwanted parts of the spectrum. runamuck