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What is OP3 Acrylic?

Washington Color Gallery frames almost all of the art that we sell. You can be confident that anything we frame will be protected by conservation-grade glass or acrylic.

Acrylic was invented in about 1928 by Otto Röhm and is manufactured by Röhm GmbH. It is marketed in the Americas under the brand name Acrylite and in the rest of the world under the brand name Plexiglas. “Plexiglass” is, of course, how most of us know this product (far simpler to remember than “polymethyl methacrylate”!).

Plexiglass is well-suited to glaze large works of art because it is half the weight of glass and exceptionally resistant to shattering. Unlike most plastics, Plexiglass retains its clarity even after extensive exposure to Ultraviolet light.

Washington Color Gallery uses only UV-Filtering Plexiglass, which Acrylite sells as “OP3 acrylic”. OP3 Plexiglass blocks harmful up to 99% of the ultraviolet light (whether from sunlight, halogen lamps, or fluorescents) which can cause paper to become brittle, fade, and discolor.