Produced from the polymerisation of methyl methacrylate is the most common acrylic plastic, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). As an acrylic plastic, PMMA is considered a significant alternative to glass as it lends its properties to a variety of uses. The fields of application for PMMA are quite varied. With the innovative capabilities of manufacturers and processors of PMMA growing by the day, the material continues to find new grounds to extend its noteworthy properties to good use.
In recent times, PMMA thermoplastic has gained a strong foothold in the electronics industry. Due to its favourable properties such as high strength, durability, Total light Transmittance (T/T) and ease of processing, it is considered suitable for use in the electronics industry.
In this blog, let us explore those properties of PMMA that serve to be handy in the electronics industry space, as well as a few direct applications of PMMA in this industry.
The favourable properties of PMMA polymer:
- Durability – PMMA has immense potential to thrive in the electronics industry owing to its unmatched durability. Since electronic displays are vulnerable to damage, durability is a decisive factor for the success of a material in this application. This desirable property of durability is what PMMA thermoplastic brings to the table, and hence is used in the display units of top electronic brands.
- Surface hardness – Surface hardness and scratch resistance are important performance qualities where repeated and heavy-duty usage is a factor. Taking this into consideration, production of Light Guide Panel (LGP) for electronic displays like LED televisions, notebooks and tablets, electrical equipment display and infrared transmitter/receiver windows involve PMMA. Owing to its surface hardness and scratch resistance properties, PMMA is the preferred material for use in various appliance parts as well as control panels.
- Total light transmittance – Among all transparent moulding materials, PMMA has the greatest light transmittance. Superior light transmission qualities make it a brilliant choice and an indispensable material for use in the electronics industry.
- Some of its light guide properties allow PMMA to offer a unique combination of superb and even illumination, including considerable reduced energy consumption as compared to traditional back lit systems.
In view of the above properties, SUMIPEX®, the leading brand of PMMA polymer is widely used in these electronic applications:
- LED screens and monitors – Most leading electronics brands use screens made from PMMA. The durability and light transmittance of PMMA makes it the best choice for screens with sizes ranging from small to ultra large because PMMA is the perfect material for LED lights. Its unique quality allows LED to come to life and maximise their light emitting potential. Increased production of LED flat panels and LED television sets has given a boost to PMMA demand in recent years; a trend which is expected to continue and evolve in the coming decade.
- Mobile phone screens – PMMA has acquired a new field of application for itself within optoelectronics. For instance, cell phones in trouser pockets or handbags should not scratch easily. Therefore, for high-quality displays, PMMA is indeed the best bet. Factors such as easy processing ability, excellent optical clarity, high light transmission, toughness and high scratch resistance and impact resistance make PMMA a suitable material for mobile phone screens.
Electronics is the fastest-growing segment of the PMMA market. Increasing growth in this sector has paved the demand of PMMA for various applications such as appliances parts, LED/LCD screens, laptop and mobile phone screen, touch screens, and cover panels.
If the use of Sumitomo Chemical’s SUMIPEX® PMMA polymer in the electronics industry got you thinking and propelled you towards more innovative ideas, we are happy to assist you. Feel free to reach out to us here.