Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate

Hydroxyethyl methacrylate is a clear, colourless liquid with a sweet odour which is soluble in water. It is an ester of methacrylic acid used to make the polymer polyhydroxyethyl methacrylate, which was one of the first materials to be used successfully in flexible contact lenses. It copolymerizes readily with a wide range of monomers, and the added hydroxyl groups provide improved adhesion to surfaces, hydrophilicity, resistance to corrosion, fogging, and abrasion, incorporate cross-link sites, and reduce odour, colour, and volatility.

Synonyms: 2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate; 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-hydroxyethyl ester; 1,2-Ethanediol mono(2-methyl)-2-propenoate; 1,2-Ethanediol mono(2-methylpropenoate); 1,2-Ethanediol, mono(2-methyl)-2-propenyl; 2-(Methacryloyloxy)ethanol; 2-Hydroxyethyl 2-methylacrylate; 2-hydroxyethyl 2-methylprop-2-enoate; 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate; 2-Methyl-2-propenoic acid 2-hydroxyethyl ester; Bisomer HEMA; Ethylene glycol methacrylate; ethylene glycol monomethacrylate; Glycol methacrylate; Glycol monomethacrylate; GMA; HEMA; Methacrylic acid 2-hydroxyethyl ester

Applications of Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate

Hydroxyethyl methacrylate is used in the manufacture of acrylic polymers which in turn are used in a range of commercial applications such as adhesives, paint resins, performance products, reactive systems, printing inks, coatings for automotive, appliance, and metal applications and as an intermediate for chemical syntheses.

Storage and Handling

Contact with hydroxyethyl methacrylate may cause mild irritation of the skin and eyes. The material may be harmful if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Inhalation of vapour from the heated product may cause irritation of the nose, throat and lungs. Proper safety precautions including engineering controls and the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment must be observed.

Hydroxyethyl methacrylate is supplied inhibited to prevent spontaneous polymerization. The product should be stored under air rather than inert gases in order for the inhibitor to remain effective. Avoid excessive heat and exposure to acids, bases, oxidizing agents, reducing agents, free-radical initiators, organic peroxides, and mild steel. Store in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Provided these storage conditions are properly maintained, the product can be expected to remain stable for a period of one year.