(organic chemistry)
A polymer of an ester or salt of acrylic acid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


See References under POLYMER.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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