Polyacrylates 2016-12-06T05:35:21+00:00


Acrylic acid was first synthesised in 1843 and polymerisation of its esters was well known – a transparent polymethyl acrylate was prepared by Kahlbaum in 1880.

The polymerisation of acrylics was extensively studied by Otto Rohm in 1901. The Rohm & Haas company was founded in 1907 in Esslingen and moved to Darmstadt in 1909. Rohm took out a patent in 1915 for polyacrylic ester as a paint binder.

Early view of Darmstadt

Commercial production of acrylate polymers began about 1927 as Acryloid and Plexigum and as an intermediate layer in ‘safety glass’ Luglas.

The discovery by Chalmers, in Canada, of the much harder methacrylate polymers led to the development of polymethyl methacrylate by Crawford of ICI in the mid 1930s. Rohm & Haas became licensed to use the ICI process to make Plexiglas sheet in Germany.

About 1934, Rohm & Haas developed the first stable acrylic emulsion A paint laboratory was established in 1938 but aqueous all-acrlyic emulsions were not commercially produced until the 1950s. Soon after, acrylic based stoving enamels were developed and about 1970, weather resistant acrylic emulsion paints were developed for use on timber, and have now largely replaced oil based paints in many applications.