Aquarium and Swimming Pool Strength: Glass vs Acrylic

Aquarium and Swimming Pool Strength: Glass vs Acrylic

Image credit: Matheus Natan/

The choice of materials for pool construction is an important decision that can have an impact on the pool’s strength, durability, and overall presentation. Two common options for pool windows are acrylic and glass. Both have their features and advantages, but is acrylic stronger than glass?

This article aims to focus on both materials’ durability and strength and disclose which is stronger.

Is Acrylic Stronger Than Glass?

Acrylic or glass? How do you decide which material to use?

Acrylic is a thermostatic material that is known for its high strength and resistance. It has gained popularity in recent years for its versatility and ability to be formed into various shapes.

On the other hand, glass is a traditional material that has been used for building pools for decades. It offers excellent transparency and durability but is less flexible or resistant than acrylic.

One of the biggest advantages of acrylic is that it is much stronger and lighter than glass.

Glass and acrylic properties


Acrylic has many advantages. First, it has excellent durability and higher impact resistance than glass. It is known that it is 10 times more shatter-resistant than glass. Is acrylic glass breakable? Yes, it is, but it takes a bigger force to shatter acrylic than glass.

Moreover, acrylic is able to withstand pressure. Acrylic pool walls can hold greater water pressure compared to glass panels. Due to its flexibility, acrylic allows even pressure distribution, which reduces the risk of leaks or cracks. Acrylic may also be easily molded.

Acrylic is lightweight. It is around 50% lighter than glass. This feature allows easy installation and environmental efficiency.

While acrylic allows 92% visible light transmission, it has UV-blocking features and is able to provide 99% UV blocking.

In addition to its durability, acrylic has a remarkable strength. It is a lot stronger than glass. In fact, acrylic sheets are about 17 times stronger than glass. Its strength is due to its long polymer chains’ molecular structure.


Although glass is known for its durability, it is more brittle than acrylic. Glass may crack or shatter upon impact or due to extreme temperatures. That is why glass is a less ideal choice in environments with a potential for accidents, like pool areas frequented by children.

Yet, once glass is properly installed and maintained, it may last for many years without losing its properties. It does not require polishing like acrylic, making it a low-maintenance option for pool owners.

While acrylic may possess greater overall strength, glass has its own advantages. Glass is a solid and rigid material with excellent transparency, allowing for a clear view of the pool water. Another strength is its chemical resistance. Glass can withstand exposure to various chemicals used in pool maintenance without degradation.

Glass is not prone to discoloration or yellowing, providing a consistently clear view. It is beautiful, crystal clear, and usually used in larger constructions.

Choosing the Right Material for Pools

When it comes to choosing the right material for pool windows or viewing panels, you should consider its quality, toughness, and durability.

Is acrylic better than glass? Both acrylic and glass have pros and cons. You can decide which material is better for you depending on your project, budget, and preference.

Acrylic is usually recommended for pool applications where impact resistance and flexibility are top priorities.

On the other hand, a glass wall pool may be a better option if transparency and scratch resistance are crucial. Glass is usually used for pool windows or viewing panels where aesthetics is most important. It provides an uninterrupted view of the pool water and is less likely to suffer from scratches over time.

Other factors to consider when making a decision include cost and availability. Acrylic tends to be more expensive than glass because of its properties. Glass is a common material, and it is more available and affordable.


Image credit: Nat Weerawong/

Glass and Acrylic Application for Aquariums

When it comes to choosing the right material for aquariums, the debate between acrylic and glass has been ongoing for years. Both materials have their own unique properties, advantages, and disadvantages. Yet, the question is which is stronger and more durable.

Acrylic is a strong and durable type of plastic. On the other hand, glass is a material that has been used for aquariums for years. It provides excellent clarity and scratch resistance but is not as flexible or impact-resistant as acrylic.

Yet, there are other things to take into consideration. For example, acrylic aquariums are prone to yellowing, which can impact the aesthetics of the fish tank.

When it comes to molding and customization, glass aquariums offer limited customization options. The most common are cuboid and rectangular shapes. While custom-built aquariums are available, they are expensive.

On the other hand, acrylic tanks are easy to form and mold into various shapes and sizes. Since acrylic tanks are customizable, they are excellent for creatively designed fish tanks.

Acrylic is often recommended for large or custom-built aquariums where strength and durability are crucial. Glass is usually used for smaller aquariums where aesthetics are a significant factor.


Acrylic and glass both offer their benefits and drawbacks when it comes to pool or aquarium construction. Is acrylic stronger than glass? Yes, acrylic is stronger and more impact-resistant, while glass offers better clarity and scratch resistance.

Acrylic is less breakable and able to withstand higher pressure. This material is also lightweight, which makes it easy to install.

On the other hand, glass is a low-maintenance option because it does not require polishing. Glass is also transparent and resistant to chemicals. This makes glass pool or aquarium walls less prone to yellowing.

Remember that considering your specific needs, budget, and preferences will help you make an informed decision on which material is best suited for your project.