Perspex is basically a solid transparent plastic or acrylic plastic which is made up of the chemical compound polymethyl methacrylate. It is generally used in the form of a sheet as a light – weight or as an alternative to glass which shatters – resistant. It is actually a thermoplastic that is transparent in nature.
Perspex are mainly formed with acrylic sheets, aluminum composite, PVC foams, LEDs and other thermostatic sheets. People mainly use this material for cladding, printing and glazing. When you choose the Perspex distributors, you need to ensure about their product quality and they should have bespoke color machines and provide you the full technical supports round the clock.
The Raw Materials Required in the Processing
The main raw material used for the manufacture of Perspex is methyl methacrylate which is the basic molecule. From this molecule of a monomer of methyl methacrylate, the polymer is made which is known as polymethyl methacrylate and several other similar acrylic plastic polymers are manufactured. There is a double bond present between the two carbon atoms in the middle of the monomer.
- Now, this methyl methacrylate can be formed in different ways. One of the most common ways of formation is to react acetone with sodium cyanide to produce acetone cyanohydrin which is reacted with methyl alcohol for the production of methyl methacrylate. Methyl acrylate and acrylonitrile are other similar monomers which are joined with methyl methacrylate to manufacture Perspex or other different types of acrylic plastics.
- The joining of two monomers together forms a copolymer. Just as in the case of methyl methacrylate, both the monomers of Methyl acrylate and acrylonitrile have a double bond between the carbon atoms located in the middle which breaks during the process of polymerization to link up with the carbon atoms of separate molecules.
- During the manufacturing process, the proportion of these other monomers is carefully controlled to change the elasticity and other properties of the resulting acrylic plastic as per requirements.
The Manufacturing Process
Perspex is manufactured by the reaction of a monomer (methyl methacrylate) with a catalyst. Generally, the organic peroxide is used as the catalyst in the process of manufacturing. The role of the catalyst in the process is to start off the reaction and then enter into it but it does not remain a part of the end product of the reaction.
What are the Manufacturing Processes of Perspex?
These molding powders are produced by a process which is called suspension polymerization where the reaction takes place between small droplets of the monomer that is suspended in a solution of water and catalyst which results in the formation of grains of the polymer with strictly controlled molecular weight. This is suitable for the purpose of extrusion and molding. The sheets of acrylic plastics are manufactured by the bulk polymerization process. In this bulk polymerization process, both the monomer and the catalyst is put into a mold. The mold is the place where this reaction takes place.
- Batch Cell Bulk Polymerization – This is most commonly used because of its simplicity and easy adaption for the making of sheets of acrylic plastics of thickness ranging from 0.06 to 6.0 inches and the width ranges from 3 feet to several hundred feet. This method is also used to make tubes and rods as well.
- Continuous Bulk Polymerization – This method is quicker of the two and requires less labor which is used to manufacture sheets that are thin and of fewer widths.
Thus, it can be very well understood that the process of manufacture of Perspex for business purpose is a bit complicated one. The requirement of the particular type of acrylic plastic decides the process of manufacturing taken up.