Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is a thermoplastic polymer. This transparent plastic material is recognized for its strong mix of properties including exceptional optical clarity, surface hardness, weatherability and dimensional stability. PMMA is a great alternative to the high cost and less resilient glass. These appeals make it a popular choice in the automotive sector, often manufactured via CNC machining. This article highlights some of the top applications of PMMA in the automotive industry.
PMMA glazing is 40 to 50 percent lighter than conventional glass, which can help reduce the overall vehicle weight. Acrylic sheet products are lighter than glass yet they offer double impact resistance. Weight savings apart, PMMA (acrylic) is also more transparent than glass and provides optical clarity and color accuracy, thereby providing superior visibility even in the case of fluctuating and unstable temperatures. These qualities make it excellent for windshields.
PMMA is not only popular among road cars, but it has even made its debut in race cars.
Lights play a crucial role in the design of any car, be they for means of security or communication. On the exterior, cars have at least nine types of light spread from the front to the back. The light transmittance of Polymethyl Methacrylate, combined with its durability, makes it ideal for creating exterior lights, which include headlights, fog lights, indicators, brake lights, and sirens that go through harsh weather and environments. On a further note, PMMA has excellent UV resistance and can be easily polished to restore clarity.
Apart from exterior lights, PMMA is also excellent for creating interior lights, such as storage lights and dome or courtesy lights. While you may benefit less from its weatherability, as interior environments are not as harsh, you can benefit from the low-cost benefit of PMMA (compared to glass).