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Polymethyl methacrylate, the material of the future

Plastics, or plastomers, are organic, synthetic or natural, macromolecular substances with a high molecular weight that, due to their plasticity, lend themselves to being modelled and moulded under certain conditions. Those substances are produced by the concatenation of simpler molecules, called monomers.

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

A thermoplastic material characterised by transparency, rigidity and ease of processing.
Polymethyl methacrylate is obtained from methacrylic acid, the methyl ester of which is methyl methacrylate, a substance that is neither toxic nor irritating by contact or ingestion.

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is called acrylic crystal because of its transparency and brightness, which make it comparable to a real crystal.

It is an elegant and extremely precious material. Acrylic slab, with its varied colours and whispering transparencies, gives a modern tone to the most sophisticated architectural requirements.

Its impact resistance also allows it to be used in an urban environment; as it can incorporate many materials without ruining them, it can lead to real urban furniture uses.

The material is an excellent substitute for glass where high temperature resistance is not required and impact resistance and high transparency, even greater than glass, are needed.

Making all kinds of objects stand out

The great transparency and the possibility of emphasising shapes by means of light effects (fluorescent colours, polishing, etc.), combined with the material’s lightness, allow special objects such as displays to stand out.
Compared to other plastics, such as polycarbonate or polystyrene, polymethyl methacrylate or Acrylic is more precious aesthetically because it turns yellow much less than polystyrene and is much more resistant to weathering and chemicals, including cleaning products, even for domestic use, than polycarbonate

Mouldable in all its forms

Polymethyl methacrylate, obtained by casting, can undergo numerous types of processing, many of which exploit its characteristic of being a thermoplastic material. It is sufficient, in fact, to bring the material above 90°C in order to be moulded, bent and vacuum-bombed.

It cannot, however, be used as a load-bearing structural element where the continuous operating temperature is constantly above
60 °C, unless appropriate precautions are taken.

Production of customised samples

Acrilgraph srl has a catalogue of 4200 pre-formulated colours.

In its decades of experience in the field, it has found itself formulating colours of all kinds, modifying them and adapting them to developments in knowledge and changing market requirements.

Only a few of these are kept in stock, chosen from the most popular or significant ones, in order to have a stock of plates to use for urgent orders. All others can be obtained within a few days, as such or with modifications requested by the customer.

The study and analysis of the material

Colours that are completely transparent, only partially or completely opaque, with glitter, sequins, fluorescent pigments, pearlescent and much more. Similarly, plates can be created containing various materials, even supplied by the customer himself, which can, in turn, have combinations of colours of his choice.

Spectrophotometer analysis

It makes it possible to analyse how the product reacts to light. With a special machine, it is possible to reproduce the ageing state of the material. It will be possible, therefore, to check how the colour and the material itself will hold up in 20 years’ time.

Vicat degree measurement

The Vicat grade corresponds to the temperature at which a gauge needle penetrates the acrylic sheet by one millimetre. This parameter gives information about the scratch resistance. By using special additives, it can be varied to the customer’s requirements.