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Enclosure material question

Hello. Im currently building a ROV. Thank you all for your efforts and posting so that others can enjoy this hobby. I have a question about enclosures. I really like the look of the clear tubes. Certain companies even sell them as complete kits made of Acrylic. A friend of mine, who works at a plastics company, gave me some 4" Polycarbonate tube that has 1/4 inch walls. I know in general polycarbonate is stronger than acrylic. So do you know why all these people and companies use acrylic instead? Is it just cost? or is there some aspect of acrylic that i dont know that would make it more desirable for a ROV? Thanks for your time.

Hi Tyler,

A lot of ROV companies have cameras looking through the acrylic material (think Seabotix, OpenROV, Deep Trekker, etc). Acrylic has better clarity and light transmission properties, so even though polycarbonate is stronger, acrylic is typically preferred.

On our ROV, we don’t have the camera looking through the acrylic but we wanted to leave open the possibility of using our enclosures in that manner so we chose acrylic as well.

Hope that helps!