Last edited 18 Sep 2020

Plexiglass

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Plexiglass is a plastic sheet made from methyl methacrylate. Technically referred to as poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA, the material is frequently referred to as acrylic or acrylic glass. It also goes by brand names such as Plexiglas, Lucite and Perspex.

As a type of acrylic, plexiglass has good optical clarity, scratch resistance and dimensional stability. It does not deteriorate in sunlight, has good adhesion, is thermoplastic, easy to form and easy to cut.

[edit] History

The development of plexiglass occurred in multiple locations by numerous researchers in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

During the Second World War, plexiglass was used as a form of facial protection to shield pilots from flying shards of glass and other debris. Development of the material continued after the war, and it was used in the prefabricated Futuro houses introduced in the 1960s.

[edit] COVID-19 and plexiglass

In 2020, global demand for plexiglass increased when it was commonly used as to protect people returning to construction sites, shops, restaurants, workplaces and other public places after the lockdown period was lifted. It was adopted in retail establishments as a method of protecting workers and customers during the payment process. Plexiglass partitions in the workplace have also been installed to create barriers between employees as they return to the offices. In restaurants, plexiglass bubbles allow customers to remain somewhat protected while dining out.

The material is commonly used in face shields which are now being worn not only by medical professionals, but also by those in construction, retail and the beauty professions.

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