Acrylic resins are a group of related thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic substances derived from acrylic acid, methacrylic acid or other related compounds. Polymethyl acrylate is an acrylic resin used in an emulsified form for lacquer, textile finishes, adhesives and, when mixed with clay, to gloss paper. Another acrylic resin is polymethyl methacrylate, which is used to make hard plastics with various light transmitting properties. It is used for the materials which need some light transmitting properties, because it is transparent as glass, some amount of titanium dioxide can be added for a translucent effect.
The chemical name for the resin produced from the methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA) is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). MMA is a transparent and colorless fluid substance. A characteristic feature of PMMA is its high transparency. It is also highly resistant to weather damage; it does not easily turn yellow or crumble when exposed to sunlight and has been known to last over thirty years. Polymethyl methacrylate is used for various translucent and transparent items such as aquariums, signboards, automobile taillights, bathtub liners, sinks, cell phone display screens, and backlight optical waveguides for liquid crystal displays (LCD).
Advantages as an ingredient in paint
Acrylic resin is a common ingredient in latex paint (UK: "emulsion paint"). Interior and exterior latex paints with a greater proportion of acrylic resin, versus vinyl, offer better stain protection, greater water resistance, better adhesion, greater resistance to cracking and blistering, and resistance to alkali cleansers. Acrylic resin is considered extremely weatherproof. This makes it ideal for outdoor applications. In solid form acrylic resin can even last for decades. It does not yellow when exposed to sunlight, even after years. The Acrylic Resins are the materials which when added to latex (U.K. Emulsion) increases its gloss properties, mechanical properties i.e. scratch resistant, makes the paint shinier compared to its solo performance.
Current market and forecast
The global demand for acrylic resins approached roughly US $14.5 billion in 2011. With an annual growth rate of 4–5%, the acrylic resin market is forecast to reach $22 billion by 2020. Currently, acrylic resins are most often used in automotive parts, medical devices, paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and construction.