Acrylic sheets, also known as plexiglass, have become a ubiquitous material in modern-day life. They are used in everything from protective barriers to artwork and jewelry. But how did this versatile material come to be?
The first acrylic sheet was developed in the early 20th century by German chemist Otto Rohm. He discovered that a liquid chemical called methyl methacrylate (MMA) could be polymerized into a solid form by exposure to ultraviolet light. This process created a clear, lightweight material that was shatter-resistant and had excellent optical properties.
During World War II, acrylic sheets were used for aircraft canopies because of their high impact resistance and clarity. After the war, acrylic sheets became popular in commercial applications, such as store displays and signs. They were also used in architecture for skylights and windows because of their durability and light transmission properties.
In the 1960s, acrylic sheets became a popular material for art and design. Famous artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol used acrylic sheets to create vibrant and colorful works of art. Today, acrylic sheets continue to be widely used in various industries due to their versatility, durability, and optical clarity.
Acrylic sheets have come a long way since their inception in the early 20th century. They have played an essential role in many industries, and their popularity continues to grow as new applications for this material are discovered.