PMMA, Plexiglas®, Perspex®

Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also known as acrylic or acrylic glass as well as by the trade names Crylux, Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucite, and Perspex, is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass.

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 historic 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.

PMMA is an economical alternative to polycarbonate (PC) when tensile strength, flexural strength, transparency, polishability, and UV tolerance are more important than impact strength, chemical resistance and heat resistance. 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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