Application Of PMMA In The Automotive Industry

2022-10-04 11:19:00

Acrylic is polymethyl methacrylate (polymethyl methacrylate), referred to as PMMA, is a polymer polymerized by methyl methacrylate, also known as plexiglass, with high transparency, high weather resistance, high hardness , easy processing and forming and other advantages, it is a frequently used glass substitute material.
The relative molecular mass of PMMA is about 2 million, and the chain forming the molecule is relatively soft, so the strength of PMMA is relatively high, and the ability to resist stretching and impact is 7 to 18 times higher than that of ordinary glass. When it is used as plexiglass, even if it is broken, it will not produce cracked fragments like ordinary glass.
PMMA is a transparent polymer material with the best optical properties for plastic transparent prototype at present, with a light transmittance of 92%, which is higher than that of glass and PC. This has also become the most important basic characteristic of many applications especially in automotive lamp prototype machining.
The weather resistance of PMMA is also second to none among commonly used plastics. It can meet the weather resistance test of 3500-4000 KJ/m2 under the weather resistance test standard SAE J2527 for automobile exteriors, which is much higher than that of ordinary PC, PA and other plastics. In addition, the pencil hardness of PMMA can reach 2H, which is also much higher than other common plastics such as PC, and has good surface scratch resistance.
Due to its excellent properties, PMMA has been widely used in automobiles, electronics and home appliances, consumer goods, lighting, construction and building materials, medical and other fields.

Application of PMMA in the automotive industry
In general, PMMA is used in automotive taillights prototype, instrument panel covers, outer pillars and decorative parts, interior lights prototypes, rearview mirror housings prototype, etc., and is mainly used in fields that require transparency, translucency, and high gloss prototype parts.
PMMA for automotive taillights prototype manufacturing
Car lights are divided into headlights and taillights, and their lamp shades and other components need to use transparent materials. The headlamps and fog lamp shades are mostly made of polycarbonate PC materials, because the headlamps are often used for a long time during driving, and at the same time, the impact resistance of the lamp shades is higher when the car is driving. However, the use of PC for headlights also has disadvantages such as complex process, high cost, and easy aging.
Tail lights are generally turn signals, brake lights, etc., with low light intensity and short use time, so the requirements for heat resistance are relatively low, and PMMA materials are mostly used. The light transmittance of PMMA is 92%, which is higher than 90% of PC. The rate is 1.492, with good weather resistance and high surface hardness. It is an ideal material for taillight masks, reflectors and light guides. Due to its high hardness, PMMA has good scratch resistance, and can be used directly without surface protection when used as an external light distribution lens material. The light scattering PMMA has high scattering properties and is easy to achieve a uniform lighting effect, and is one of the key materials for current taillight applications.
PMMA for dashboard masks
The instrument panel mask mainly plays the role of protecting the instrument and accurately displaying the instrument data. Dashboard masks are generally injection-molded, and PMMA is used more. It has high transparency, sufficient strength, stiffness, and good dimensional stability. It does not deform under the high temperature of solar radiation and engine waste heat, and does not deform under long-term high temperature , does not fail, does not affect the accuracy of each instrument.
Outer uprights and trims
The outer columns of automobiles are divided into ABC columns, and their performance requirements are mainly high gloss (usually piano black), high weather resistance, high heat resistance, and scratch resistance. Common solutions include ABS+paint, PP+paint and PMMA+ABS double-layer extrusion solution , and toughened PMMA program. Compared with the spraying scheme, PMMA can eliminate the spraying process, is more environmentally friendly and has lower cost, and has gradually become the mainstream scheme.
PMMA for interior lighting
Interior lights include reading lights and ambient lights. Reading lights are part of a car's interior lighting system and are usually mounted on the front or rear roof. In order to prevent light pollution, reading lamps generally need to scatter the light, and can use matte or frosted PMMA or PC solutions.
Ambient light is a kind of decorative lighting that can create a comfortable atmosphere and enhance the texture of the vehicle. The light guide strips used in the ambient light are divided into two types: soft and hard according to their texture. Rigid light guide strips are hard in texture and cannot be bent. They are generally formed by injection molding or extrusion, and are mainly made of transparent materials such as PMMA and PC.
PMMA for mirror housings
The rearview mirror housing mainly requires high gloss and black brightness, and also requires high impact strength, scratch resistance and weather resistance. Since the shape of the mirror shell is generally curved, it is easy to generate stress, so the requirements for processing performance and toughness are relatively high. The conventional scheme is ABS painting, but the process pollution is serious and there are many processes. The PMMA scheme can achieve no spraying. Generally, a toughening grade PMMA material is used here to meet the drop test and other items in the test program.

The above are the conventional applications of PMMA in the automotive field, mainly related to optics or appearance. PMMA adds more possibilities to the automotive field.

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