Q:

For what is acrylic plastic used?

A:

Quick Answer

Acrylic plastic is a strong, clear polymer used in a host of industries including, but not limited to automobiles, lighting fixtures, optical applications and electronic applications. Acrylic plastic is also used as an additive in paints and fuels.

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Full Answer

Acrylic plastic belongs to a group of polymers known as poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA. PMMA is a clear plastic found in molding sugar or casting syrup form. The plastic is resilient and clear making it perfect for automobiles, ocular equipment and other glass substitute industries. In cars, it is used to cover external lights as well as being a safer alternative to glass. PMMA is also popular in ocular applications such as contact lens manufacture.

Lighting fixtures also make use of PMMA as it is slow burning or self-extinguishing and does not produce harmful gas in the presence of a flame. As an additive it is popular in paint and automobile liquids. In paint, PMMA is used to create acrylic paint. In cars, lubricating agents, such as oil and hydraulic fluids are susceptible to low temperatures. To ensure these liquids don't become viscous PMMA is added increasing their liquid range to extremely cold temperatures of -148 degrees Fahrenheit.

PMMA, or acrylic plastic is also common in the production of dentures and dental fillings.

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