Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)

Last updated: November 8, 2019

What Does Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Mean?

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) refers to an organic compound that contains a methyl ester of methacrylic acid. Its chemical formula is C5H8O2. Methyl methacrylate is a reactive resin and its polymerized form has useful applications, such as:

  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Protective coating
  • Industrial paints
  • Plastic additives
  • Polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics
  • Synthetic marble
  • Bonding cement

Methyl methacrylate provides the following benefits to the finished product:

  • Stability and durability
  • Hardness and impact
  • Scratch resistance and brilliance

Corrosionpedia Explains Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) is a polymerized form of resins or organic materials principally used in the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA) and methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene (MBS). It was also later used as a PVC modifier. MMA is a volatile, flammable and colorless liquid, and is soluble in warm water. It has an acrid odor.

Depending on the original monomer from which the polymer was built, acrylics come in two categories: acrylates and methacrylates. In MMA, a methyl group is attached to the carbon-carbon chain of the polymer molecule of a methacrylate, whereas a hydrogen atom is found in the carbon-carbon chain in the acrylate.

The copolymerization of MMA, such as poly(methyl methacrylate), is resistant to saponification, or alkali breakdown. As a result, it is a highly desirable polymer for coating zinc substrates or any surfaces where alkali conditions may arise. To make a suitable paint from MMA, there needs to be some modification of the copolymer. Note that the elongation of pure methyl methacrylate is very low for both solvent-borne and waterborne coatings. Therefore, in waterborne formulations of methyl methacrylate emulsion polymers, one needs to mix large quantities of plasticizers, coalescing solvents, or both to form films at room temperature. On the other hand, acrylic emulsion polymers must be copolymerized with acrylate monomers for paint formulations.

A reactive acrylic adhesive is manufactured from methyl methacrylate, which cures quickly at room temperature and builds strength rapidly. Due to its excellent resistance to shear, peel, impact stresses and quick cure, it is widely used in the structural bonding of advanced materials in the aerospace, automotive and composites industries.


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