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PMMA / Acrylic

Polymethyl methacrylate

PMMA is a clear engineering plastic often used as a replacement for glass and it also has outstanding surface hardness.

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Physical Properties

PMMA (Polymethyl methacrylate) is glass clear with high light transmission and good optical quality.

Extremely long service life with high resistance to UV light and weathering.

Strong and scratch proof but also brittle It also has unlimited colouring potential.

PMMA shows the greatest surface hardness of all the thermoplastics.

It can be fabricated by means of all thermoforming methods, and therefore offers huge creative scope. PMMA is 100% recyclable.

Susceptible to stress cracking.

Chemical Properties

Resistant to weak acids and alkaline solutions, grease and oil.

Not resistant to strong acids and alkaline solutions, chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Typical Applications

Glazing, safety screens, lenses, light fittings, displays, baths, dental fittings, bone cement, aquariums, automotive rear lighting clusters, light guides.


Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is a typical amorphous thermoplastic.


Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is highly flammable and burns with a bright and smoky crackling flame even after it is moved away from the source of ignition. Gives off a sweet and fruity smell.

Useful Data

Density – 1.18 g/cm ³

Pre-Drying – 4 hours at 80°C in a dehumidifying hot air drier. Very prone to water absorption.

Melt temperature – 220 – 250°C

Mould Temperature – 40-80°C

Shrinkage – 0.3-0.7%

Trade Names And Manufacturers

Arkema – Plexiglas / Altuglas

LG MMA Corp. – LG

Plaskolite – Optix

Lucite – Acrypet / Diakon

Cast Acrylic such as Perspex and Plexiglas are also available in sheet and rod form and suitable for machining and thermoforming.

Hardie Polymers can help source grades from all of the above manufacturers


The first acrylic acid was created in 1843. In 1865 Methacrylic acid, derived from acrylic acid, was formulated and in 1877 the German chemist Wilhelm Rudolph Fittig, discovered the polymerization process that turned methyl methacrylate into polymethyl methacrylate. In 1933, the brand name ‘Plexiglas’ was patented and registered by another German chemist, Otto Röhm.

In 1936 Imperial Chemical Industries, the famous old ICI, (now Lucite) started production of acrylic safety glass. During the Second World War, PMMA was often used instead of glass in gun turrets and windshields for aircraft, proving a much safer material in battle situations for our airmen.

More about PMMA or Acrylic

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Our longstanding partnerships allow us to specialise in sourcing and compounding most grades of engineering polymers. All brand names listed are trademarks of the manufacturers and we are not an authorised distributor for these manufacturers. We only supply prime grades in original packaging with the manufacturers documentation.

® – Trademarks owned or used by the producers.
™ – Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (status in the U.S. only, registration status in other geographies may be different)

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