Press release
October 14, 2015

80 years of PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds - 80 years of reliability, freedom of design and top performance

FAKUMA 2015, Hall A4, Booth No 4117

  • Style, taste and trends change – PLEXIGLAS® offers enormous freedom of design
  • PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds have been continuously developed—one of the foundations for their enduring success
  • Constant high quality makes for reliable application of PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds

Darmstadt. - The first methacrylic injection-molding compounds were supplied in 1935. Eighty years later, PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds prove they have not only withstood the test of time, involving enormous advances in technology, styles and ways of living, they have also weathered all the changes along the way and even played a crucial part in shaping them.

Zips, small lenses, typewriter keys and gramophone discs were the first products made from the new methacrylic injection-molding compounds. The development of injection-moldable compounds was the prerequisite for the economical serial production of large numbers of items of consistently high quality. Writing instruments, especially high-end fountain pens, soon accounted for about 20 percent of business.

The special thing about PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds is that they have not only proved their worth and been further developed, they have conquered new fields of application with every passing decade.

Today, we find them in many automotive components, in lighting and in a large number of everyday items, such as the nameplate on washing machines and coffee makers, as lenses in reading glasses, as cosmetics packaging, disposable cuvettes in medical technology, and many other uses.

Practice-based approach makes for reliability
Right from the start, close cooperation was maintained with customers and cooperation partners. This made the products very practice-based and actively promoted the material’s further development.

New and improved properties such as impact strength, maximum transparency and a high heat deflection temperature were specifically targeted in the course of the years through continuous improvements in products and processes.

This also gave rise to a series of further developments for specialty applications that called for outstanding performance levels. Examples are PLEXIMID® molding compound with an extremely high heat deflection temperature, or PLEXIGLAS® Hi-Gloss, which was developed to meet special requirements for non-transparent car body applications.

Automotive design changes, PLEXIGLAS® stays the same
The automobile industry soon discovered the interesting properties offered by molding compounds. From the late 1950s, the automobile industry produced injection-molded covers for the small taillights that were typical of those times, and buttons for the instrument panel. Automotive applications soon accounted for a third of molding compound business back then.

Today, taillights are a key design feature and are found in a growing variety of new and larger shapes that make it possible to recognize the make of a car even in the dark.

That is precisely where PLEXIGLAS® molding compound continues to be used, and the related freedom of design and the material’s excellent resistance to weathering and UV light are especially appreciated. Style, taste and fashions come and go every decade, but PLEXIGLAS® always keeps its characteristic, reliable properties.

Whatever segment they operate in, designers and developers all want a material that is tough, resistant to UV light and weathering while lending itself to creative forming. They want materials that are transparent and enable a play of light and color, or can be precisely colored for specific requirements. These requirements are unlikely to change in the next 80 years either.

Evonik is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the ACRYLITE® trademark in the Americas.

About Performance Materials

The Performance Materials Segment is managed by Evonik Performance Materials GmbH. The segment focuses its global activities on developing and manufacturing polymer materials and intermediates, especially for use in agriculture and in the rubber and plastics industry. In 2014, the segment’s roughly 4,400 employees generated sales of €3.83 billion.

About Evonik

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. In its business activities, which are spread across three segments—Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency, and Performance Materials—Evonik’s greatest resources are its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. In 2014, over 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.