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Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)

Yangzhou Chengsen Plastics Co.,Ltd | Updated: Mar 21, 2018

This article is about the transparent plastic sometimes called acrylic glass. For the glass/plastic laminate often called "safety glass", see Laminated glass. For the neurotoxic designer drug PMMA, commonly sold as MDMA, see para-Methoxy-N-methylamphetamine. For other uses, see Acrylic (disambiguation).

Poly(methyl methacrylate)
PMMA repeating unit.svg
IUPAC namePoly(methyl 2-methylpropenoate)
Other namesPoly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)
methyl methacrylate resin
CAS Number
3D model (JSmol)
  • none

ECHA InfoCard100.112.313
Chemical formula(C5O2H8)n
Molar massvaries
Density1.18 g/cm3[1]
Melting point160 °C (320 °F; 433 K)[4]
Magnetic susceptibility (χ)−9.06×10−6 (SI, 22°C) [2]
Refractive index(nD)1.4905 at 589.3 nm[3]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Lichtenberg figure: high voltage dielectric breakdown in an acrylic polymer block

Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also known as acrylic or acrylic glass as well as by the trade names CryluxPlexiglasAcryliteLucite, and Perspex among several others (see below), is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. The same material can be used as a casting resin, in inks and coatings, and has many other uses.

Although not a type of familiar silica-based glass, the substance, like many thermoplastics, is often technically classified as a type of glass (in that it is a non-crystalline vitreous substance) hence its occasional historical designation as acrylic glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. The material was developed in 1928 in several different laboratories by many chemists, such as William Chalmers, Otto Röhm, and Walter Bauer, and was first brought to market in 1933 by the Rohm and Haas Company under the trademark Plexiglas.

PMMA is an economical alternative to polycarbonate (PC) when tensile strengthflexural strengthtransparency, polishability, and UV tolerance are more important than impact strength, chemical resistance and heat resistance.[5] Additionally, PMMA does not contain the potentially harmful bisphenol-A subunits found in polycarbonate. It is often preferred because of its moderate properties, easy handling and processing, and low cost. Non-modified PMMA behaves in a brittle manner when under load, especially under an impact force, and is more prone to scratching than conventional inorganic glass, but modified PMMA is sometimes able to achieve high scratch and impact resistance.

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