a polymer of esters of acrylic acid or methacrylic acid, with the general formula
where R′ = H or CH3 (for acrylic and methacrylic acids, respectively) and R is an aliphatic, carbocyclic, or heterocyclic group.
Polyacrylates containing the R groups methyl (— CH3), ethyl (—C2 H5), n-butyl (—C4 H9) and cyclohexyl (—CeH11) are of the greatest industrial importance. These polyacrylates are transparent thermoplastic polymers that are physiologically harmless and readily soluble in organic solvents and are characterized by low resistance to oil and gasoline.
Polyacrylates are produced by polymerization of esters of acrylic and methacrylic acids (acrylates and methacrylates, respectively). Polymerization of a mixture of acrylates whose chemical structure differs in the nature of the R group yields high-strength multipurpose materials.
Polyacrylates are used in the production of organic glass (mainly polymethyl methacrylate), films, paints and varnishes, adhesives, and impregnation compositions for paper, leather, wood, and fabrics. Polyacrylates are widely used in medicine, especially in dentistry, for the preparation of artificial jaws and teeth and for fillings. Acrylate polymers and copolymers are used to make prostheses and contact lenses, as well as special castings for preserving various items. Acrylates are widely used as como-nomers to increase the plasticity of rigid polymers and to produce acrylic rubbers.
REFERENCESSee References under POLYMER.
V. P. SHIBAEV