Polymethyl methacrylate, known with abbreviation PMMA, is a tough, transparent material, easy to shape and a great alternative to glass in a various number of applications.
PMMA is also known as acrylic or acrylic glass and it is worldwide identified with the product Plexiglass®, the name given by its inventor, Otto Röhm, when first discovered this “acrylic glass” in 1933.
Polymethyl methacrylate offers glass-like qualities, such as translucence, brilliance, transparency and clarity. It assures half the weight (1,19 g/cm3), 10 time the impact resistance, it is more robust and have less risk and damages.
Light transmission. Clear-transparent PMMA shows the highest transmittance, of up to 92%, in the visible range, which is more than glass or any other plastics.
UV Resistance. Compared to Polycarbonate, which exposed to UV radiation in outdoor applications, changes, becoming yellow, brown and in general loosing their light transmission, PMMA does not. Polymethyl methacrylate consists entirely of extremely strong and UV-stable molecules. This special natural UV-STABLE technology completely stabilizes PMMA within. The entire sheet is therefore UV-stable; it does not yellow and retains its high light transmission. Moreover, at least 98% of UV radiation is blocked.
Temperature range. PMMA can withstand temperatures as low as maximum -40°C and up to +80°C, assuring a very good range for outdoor applications. In case of designing of new applications, expansion must be considered: as temperature and / or atmospheric humidity increase, the acrylic expands or contracts. The allowance for expansion is typically 5 to 6 mm per linear meter of sheet.
Chemical resistance. Polymethyl methacrylate has a good resistance to inorganic substances, low concentrations of acids and alkaline solutions, salts and salt solutions. It is not resistant to organic compounds, chlorinated hydrocarbons, ketones and esters.
Compared to other plastics Polymethyl methacrylate offers a poor impact resistance, a limited heat resistance, chemical resistance and it is not suitable in case of wear and abrasion application. Moreover it could crack under load.
Acrylic, Polycarbonate and glass are all transparent materials and as discussed above, PC and PMMA are suitable, shatter-resistance alternatives to glass. PMMA is often used as a lightweight alternative to glass and a reasonable substitute to polycarbonate (PC) thanks to its cost-effectiveness and when extreme strength is not essential.
Also, Polymethyl methacrylate is less likely to scratch and does not yellow over a period of time. Compared to PC, PMMA offers very high transmissivity and better optical clarity which can be also be restored by polishing.
When it comes to food contact, Polymethyl methacrylate can be consider safe and complies to FDA and EU regulations.
We can offer shaped components but we cannot bend it or polish it.