Acrylics (Polymethyl-Methacrylate or PMMA) is an amorphous thermoplastic which is optically transparent, unaffected by moisture, and offers a high strength-to-weight ratio.
Acrylics offer high light transmittance with a Refractive Index of 1.49 and can be easily heat-formed without loss of optical clarity. Prolonged exposure to moisture, or even total immersion in water, does not significantly affect the mechanical or optical properties of acrylic. Most commercial acrylics have been UV stabilized for good weatherability and resistance in prolonged sunlight exposure.
Acrylics are unaffected by aqueous solutions of most laboratory chemicals, by detergents, cleaners, dilute inorganic acids, alkalis, and aliphatic hydrocarbons — however, acrylics are NOT recommended for use with chlorinated or aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, or ketones.
Acrylics are easily sawed, drilled, milled, engraved, and finished with sharp carbide-tipped tools. Cut surfaces may be readily sanded and polished. They are also readily bendable or thermoformed at low temperature and solvent bonding of properly fitting parts produces a strong, invisible joint. Acrylics are available in colorless clear as well as a wide variety of colors and tints. They are available in extruded and/or cast material in sheet, rod and tube forms as well as custom profiles.
Acrylic is an economical, general purpose material used in a wide variety of applications, including:
- Store fixtures and displays
- Lenses and lighting fixtures
- Light pipes
- Windows and skylights
- Sight gauges
- Outdoor signs
PLEXIGLAS is a trademark of Elf AtoChem North America Inc.