Polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA, also known as acrylic or even acrylic glass, is a clear, hard thermoplastic that has applications as a substitute for glass. PMMA polymethyl methacrylate has many technical advantages over other transparent polymers such as polycarbonate, polystyrene, etc. It has advantages such as high resistance to UV light and weathering (weather conditions), excellent light transmission and unlimited coloring options. In the continuation of this PETROPROVIDERS article, join us to show you polymethyl methacrylate and its applications.

PMMA structure and its features

Polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA, is a clear, colorless polymer that is formed by most forming methods such as extrusion, injection, and compression molding. The strength of polymethyl methacrylate is higher than other common polymeric materials due to its high molecular weight. It is interesting to know that this polymer is 100% recyclable.

PMMA polymer is made by polymerization of methyl methacrylate monomer with a special structure. This structure is shown in the figure below.

polymethyl methacrylate structure

polymethyl methacrylate structure

Properties and properties of PMMA or acrylic polymer

PMMA or polymethyl methacrylate polymer has a glass-like quality in terms of sharpness, luminosity, transparency with a weight of about half of it and impact resistance 10 times compared to glass.

Light transmission of polymethyl methacrylate:

It has a refractive index of 1/49 and therefore light passes through it a lot. Different grades of PMMA transmit about 92% of light, which is more than other plastics and even glass.

PMMA polymer can be easily processed without any changes in optical properties. Compared to polystyrene and polyethylene, PMMA performs better for outdoor applications; Because it is resistant to UV and weather conditions.

PMMA surface hardness:

Polymethyl methacrylate is a hard, durable and lightweight thermoplastic polymer. The density of acrylic is between 1.17 to 1.20 grams per cubic centimeter, which is about half that of glass. Compared to other transparent polymers such as polycarbonate, it has excellent scratch resistance, although it is weaker than glass in this parameter.

Polymethyl methacrylate also has less moisture and water absorption and good dimensional stability.

UV stability in polymethyl methacrylate:

This chemical, PMMA, is highly resistant to UV light and weathering conditions.

PMMA chemical resistance:

Acrylics are not affected by solutions of most laboratory chemicals, detergents, dilute inorganic acids, alkalis and aliphatic hydrocarbons. However, the use of PMMA with aromatic hydrocarbons, esters and ketones is not recommended.

Since PMMA polymer does not work well in many applications, additives such as impact enhancement, chemical resistance and flame retardant. for example:

  • The use of methyl acrylate comonomer increases thermal stability.
  • Add softener or plasticizer to correct the glass transition temperature and impact resistance.
  • Filler, in order to modify the final properties of the product and reduce the cost.
  • Pigments for better protection against UV and staining.

Limitations of polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA:

  • Low impact resistance
  • Low thermal resistance (80 degrees)
  • Limited chemical resistance
  • Poor abrasion resistance
  • Cracking under load

Uses and applications of PMMA

PMMA

PMMA

Architecture and construction:

Due to its high UV resistance properties and ordinary impact resistance, it is widely used in door and window profiles, awnings, panels, facade design, etc. Polymethyl methacrylate is also used in the construction of various aquariums.

Use of this material in the lighting industry:

PMMA sheets are used in the design of LED lamps and can help maximize the radiation potential. Also, due to its high transparency, it is used in making lamps.

Automotive and transportation industry:

In vehicles, PMMA sheets are used in car windows, windshield shields on motorcycles, interior and exterior panels, and fenders.

Application of PMMA in electronics industry:

Due to its excellent light resolution, high light transmission, high abrasion resistance, PMMA is widely used in LCD or LED TV displays, laptops, smartphone displays and other electronic devices.

Polymethyl methacrylate is also used as a coating material in solar panels due to its excellent resistance to UV rays and high light transmission.

Use of this substance in medical and health industries:

It is a polymer with high cleaning properties, which is why it is used in drug testing machines, storage cabinets and research laboratories. Also the high biocompatibility of PMMA makes it used as a filler for cavities and bone cement.

Comparison of polymethyl methacrylate and polycarbonate:

Acrylic, polycarbonate and glass are all transparent materials mentioned earlier. Polycarbonate and PMMA are both used as glass substitutes. But the use of PMMA is more appropriate because it is more cost effective.

PMMA polymethyl methacrylate also has better abrasion resistance and does not yellow over a period of time. Other benefits of PMMA include higher light clarity and greater transparency.

Also in optical equipment, the use of PMMA is better; Because in case of fracture, it causes less damage.

PMMA / PC alloying also allows us to take advantage of the high optical properties and scratch resistance of PMMA and the stiffness and transfer temperature of high polycarbonate glass.

PMMA shaping processes:

Polymethyl methacrylate is suitable for injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming and casting processes.

  • Injection molding of this material:
  • Melt temperature: 250-200 degrees Celsius
  • Mold temperature: 80-40 degrees Celsius

High injection pressure is required in the polymethyl methacrylate injection process; Because it has low flow properties and needs to be injected slowly to flow properly.

  • Internal stresses can be removed by heating to 80 degrees.
  • Extrusion of polymethyl methacrylate:
  • Extrusion temperature: 180 to 250 degrees Celsius
  • L / D ratio in polymethyl methacrylate extruder is recommended 20-30.

Conclusion

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), also known as acrylic or acrylic glass, is a clear, rigid thermoplastic material that is widely used as a breakable glass for ordinary glass. The highest quality polymethyl methacrylate sheets are produced by casting, but in this case, the polymerization and molding steps occur simultaneously.

Polymethyl methacrylate has glass properties such as sharpness, luminosity and clarity at half the weight of glass and 10 times the impact resistance. It has more strength and less risk of damage.

PMMA is a material with high purity and easy cleaning properties. It is used to build drug testing machines, storage cabinets in hospitals and research laboratories. PMMA is also used in dental fillings due to its high biological compatibility.

What do you think about this popular and widely used polymer? Is this substance harmful to human health and the environment? To buy the best Polymethyl methacrylate, you can contact our experts.


What are the most important applications of Polymethyl methacrylate?

This is one of the most important polymers used in various industries. This polymer is used to produce bone clamps, dental instruments, electronics, automotive, construction and architecture.

Is PMMA safe for humans?

This substance is completely healthy and safe. It is necessary to know that various studies have been conducted on the dangers of this substance for humans, the results of which were negative.

What material is PMMA made of?

It is a polymer made from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate. This material is very popular and widely used for the production of glass, plastics and optical devices.

By what process is polymethyl methacrylate made?

It is a polymer made by the polymerization reaction of methyl methacrylate. In this process, methyl methacrylate monomers are bonded together to form PMMA.