Uses & Benefits
Methacrylates are used in a range of industries and applications, including:
Electronics and Computers
The electronics and computer industries use methacrylate-based polymers to manufacture flat-screen computer monitors and televisions, as well as in DVDs, compact discs and laser discs. Printed circuit board coatings also contain methacrylate polymers, which can provide them with increased resistance to corrosion, prolonging their service life.
Medical and Dental Applications
Methacrylate-based polymers are used to manufacture a wide range of medical equipment and other medical and dental applications where purity and stability are critical – from intravenous (IV) tubing connectors, medical pump and filter housings and heart valves, to hyperbaric chambers and baby incubators, artificial teeth, dentures, bridges and dental prosthetics. Cements containing methacrylate-based polymers and liquid monomer are used by physicians in hip replacements and by dentists in white dental fillings.
Paints and other Surface Coatings
Most types of acrylic paint contain one or more methacrylate-based polymer products, which help enable paints and coatings to be applied easily, while producing a durable, long-lasting coating that helps protect the surface from sunlight, rain and other factors that may cause other types of coatings to degenerate. The durability of methacrylate-based polymers is important in the vast majority of applications and can be critical in some, such as roadway marking paints.
Acrylic Cast and Extruded Sheets
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and PMMA-based sheets help form shatter-resistant, clear and colored sheets for building windows, skylights, bus shelters, bullet proof security barriers, signs and retail displays, among other applications. PMMA also can be used with a mineral filler to make artificial stone for kitchen and bath countertops and sinks.
Beads or pellets made from methacrylate-based polymers can be molded into many other end use articles, such as taillights and instrument clusters for cars and trucks, knobs on sink faucets and other home appliances, and light lenses in commercial buildings and airport landing lights.