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Acrylic (Polymethyl Methacrylate) (PMMA)

Acrylic or Polymethyl Methacrylate is a transparent thermoplastic often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. It has outstanding optical clarity and resistance to weathering. PMMA powders can be processed through injection molding, extrusion or compression molding or cast into rods, sheets, or optical lenses. One of the most important early uses for the material was airplane canopies. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in the mid-1930s by the Röhm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas. It has since been sold under many different names, including Lucite and Perspex.
 
Sources:
J. A. Brydson, Plastics Materials, 4th ed., 362-373.
Jeffrey Meikle, American Plastic: A Cultural History, 85-88.
Whittington’s Dictionary of Plastics, 2nd ed., 251.