Polymethyl methacrylate

Jump to navigation Jump to search


Hard, glasslike, thermoplastic resin with a softening temperature from 105-125 C. Polymethyl methacrylate was the first commercially sold in 1933 as glass substitutes, such as Plexiglas®, Perspex, and Lucite®. Polymethyl methacrylate has good optical properties and is often used as a replacement for glass. It is resistant to oxidation and photodegradation.

See also Acrylic resin.



Synonyms and Related Terms

PMMA; acrylic resin; polymethylmethacrylate; polimetilmetacrilato (Esp.); poli(metacrilato de metilo) (Esp.); polyméthylméthacrylate (Fr.); polimetilmetacrilato (It.); polimetilmetacrilato (Port.)

Examples: Lucite® [Lucite]; Perspex® [Lucite); Plexiglas® [Arkema]; Altuglas® [Arkema]; Acrylite® [Piedmont Plastics]

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Burns with a shiny flame and blue center; smells sweet and fruity.
  • Soluble in esters, ketones, aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Insoluble in water, alcohols, petroleum hydrocarbons.
  • Brinell hardness=18-20
Composition (C5O2H8)n
CAS 9011-14-7
Melting Point 105-125 C(softens)
Density 1.16-1.20 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.482-1.521


General Characteristics of Polymers

Physical Properties for Selected Thermoplastic Resins

Resources and Citations

  • Omnexus: Guide on PMMA
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plexiglas (Accessed Nov. 9, 2005)