Acrylic is a durable and strong polymer used as plastic in wide variety of applications. Acrylic sheets are usually used as substitute for glass due to its flexibility and other properties such as being lighter, easier to repair and more transparent. Acrylic is used to form wide range of shapes for wide array of products most especially in automotive applications and used as component in paints and resins.
All acrylics are constructed from petroleum distillates that are reacted to acrylic acid. This acid is reacted with alcohol in order for a monomer to be formed. PMMA or polymethyl methacrylate is the most common form of acrylic that is a polymerized form of methyl methacrylate. When it is catalyzed with organic peroxide, it will separate the double bond in methyl methacrylate molecule and it will join with another monomer which will form the polymer.
Acrylic is typically manufactured as lites, or sheets of different dimensions. It is called batch cell bulk polymerization wherein molds are formed by a couple of large planes that are made of steel or glass separated by flexible spacers. Into the mold is where the methyl methacrylate is injected with the catalyst in order for the acrylic to form into sheet. The thinner planes are being produced in the method of continuous bulk polymerization wherein the parallel metal bets are being utilized as the mold. The time needed to produce it is reduced by the belts that pass through zones of various temperatures to anneal the acrylic.
There are different acrylic goods which take their shape from the mold. Manufacturer of acrylics polymerizes the acrylic and pulverizes them into bulk powder. The bulk powder is then dispersed into the product manufacturer in accordance to their specifications. Acrylic will be formed into the product that is being subjected into heat. In most cases, the acrylic powder is mixed using a dyeing agent to make translucent acrylic.
Regardless of whether it is created from mold or sheet, acrylic will take its final form by getting finished by various processes. Compared to glass, acrylic can be sawed or drilled more easily, allowing it to be installed in different applications.