Methyl methacrylate is a clear and colourless liquid with a sharp fruity odour which is slightly soluble in water. It is useful in the production of a number of polymers as it forms a strong, hard polymer which bonds tightly to a range of substances, and it is also used as a raw material for a wide variety of syntheses. Methyl methacrylate is commonly used as an additive in a variety of copolymer-based products for the advantages of hardness, clarity, flexibility, colour compatibility and good weatherability which it bestows.
Synonyms: 2-methylacrylic acid methyl ester; methyl methacrylate; methyl methacrylate, monomer; methacrylic acid methyl ester; methyl a-methylacrylate; methyl 2-methyl-2-propenoate; methyl 2-methylpropenoate; monocite methacrylate monomer
Applications of Methyl Methacrylate
Methyl methacrylate is used in the manufacture of homopolymers and copolymers. It can be copolymerized with acrylic acid and its salts, esters, acrylamide, methacrylic acid, methacrylates, acrylonitrile, maleic acid esters, vinyl acetate, vinyl chloride,styrene, butadiene and unsaturated polyesters.
One of the major applications of methyl methacrylate is in the production of acrylic sheets which in turn are used in baths and bath panels, shower doors and other sanitary ware as well as a wide variety of other end products. It is also used in products such as acrylic plastics, glues and adhesives, polyester resins, synthetic fibres, dental prostheses and orthopaedic cement.
Storage and Handling
Contact with the liquid and/or vapours of the product may initially cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, followed by nausea and vomiting. Standard safety precautions including ventilation and the wearing of personal protective equipment and eye goggles must be observed.
Methyl methacrylate must contain a stabilizer and should be stored under air rather than inert gases to prevent polymerization. Storage temperature must not exceed 35°C. Provided these storage conditions are properly maintained, the product can be expected to remain stable for a period of one year.
The product must be stored, handled, distributed and disposed of in strict accordance with national laws and directives, as well as any applicable local regulations. Ensure the container is tightly closed. More detailed information is available in the brochure ‘SAFE HANDLING AND STORAGE OF ACRYLIC ESTERS’, from the European Basic Acrylic Monomers Manufacturers Association (EBAM).