COVID-19 pandemic pushes PERSPEX® into an unexpected hero role

The PERSPEX® brand has a long history, dating back to the 1930s. This acrylic alternative to glass was first developed by UK scientists at ICI for use in aircraft canopies. In 1934, the brand name PERSPEX® (derived from the Latin “to see through”) was registered and the brand was owned by Lucite International until it was sold to its current owners, the Swiss firm Schweiter Technologies AG, in 2018.

Over the past 80 years the name PERSPEX® has become synonymous with the strong, mouldable, super transparent alternative to glass that designers love. But no-one expected the critical protection role that this ubiquitous modern material was to take in helping the world to combat the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

From aquariums to architecture, boats to bathrooms, fashion to furniture, glazing to gliders and shop signs to shelving,
PERSPEX® has proved its versatility, durability and beauty as a material. But it is its usefulness for personal protection, in helping to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, that PERSPEX® has really come into its own in 2020. Output by Perspex International Ltd has increased by 300% to meet the urgent need for protective masks and the screens being used for safe shatterproof hygienic protection walls in the health & retail industry to prevent the further spread of the virus.

PERSPEX® has proven to be by far the best material to use for protective barriers. It can be wiped regularly with high alcohol content cleaners and, of all the polymers, it is able to withstand the attack from such disinfectants. And, as lockdown has eased, screen manufacturers are already starting to see the first round of purchasers replacing their initial screens and upgrading from less durable temporary materials to a long-term more durable solution with products made from PERSPEX® that are likely to be a permanent feature of transformed retail and work environments into the future

“The scale of demand we have seen has been unprecedented. Responding to the emergency we have produced six times our normal volume of clear PERSPEX® sheet and achieving these production volumes, in such a short time period, has required the business to quickly implement new manufacturing methods and changed working practices. Only the phenomenal response from our workforce has made this possible. Having come out of a relatively depressed market in 2019, where we hadn’t been replacing people in the business, we were actually operating with a reduced workforce at the start of 2020. But this core team has nevertheless responded to the crisis and managed to produce sheet at record levels.”
Bryan Welch, Operations Director of Perspex International Ltd

Perspex International Ltd. named as a UK Business Hero!

And the efforts of the team at Perspex International haven’t gone unnoticed. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) recently launched the first ever UK Business Heroes campaign to find and pay tribute to the fantastic businesses that have ‘gone the extra mile’ in the wake of the devastating global pandemic. Perspex International is one of the businesses in the UK that has been nominated to receive a Business Hero award for demonstrating resilience, adaptation, community spirit and a selfless approach to the challenges of 2020’s economic crisis.

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