Sanitaryware acrylic is more than just a range of pastel colors. Sanitaryware acrylic is a class of acrylic that has qualities specifically designed for the manufacturing and performance requirements of sanitaryware. EN 263 is the European standard which outlines the performance qualities required of sanitaryware acrylic. This standard and the testing required to verify it give the customer assurance that the product meets European standards for performance and quality. The European Union quite naturally regulates products that most people come into direct contact with every day.
In order to fit the qualities needed for sanitaryware, the sheet must be crosslinked. Crosslinking is a chemical process by which a plastic is converted from a mixture of long chain molecules to an interlinked network. In effect, the plastic becomes a single molecule.
In manufacturing, this gives the acrylic “hot strength” so that the acrylic can be stretched out during thermoforming without splitting or blows. This also means a more controlled and even thermoforming process. The acrylic skin of the bathtub or shower tray has a more even distribution and is less prone to thin spots. Discerning sanitaryware manufacturers know that the sheet must be crosslinked in order to produce a European standard of quality product.
In use, crosslinking boosts the chemical and stain resistance of acrylic so that it can take the decades of use that a sanitaryware product endures. The acrylic becomes resistant to harsh cleansers that are used as well as the occasional solvent such as acetone or other nail polish remover. That chemical resistance naturally means that the acrylic is much more resistant to staining from a variety of sources such as molds, natural oils, or hair dyes.