Press release
August 22, 2012

Changing the world with PLEXIGLAS®

Sign Africa 2012, Johannesburg, Evonik at hall 2, level 2, booth no. N11-20

  • A special material with great potential
  • Innovative products and applications at Sign Africa 

The responsible officers at the Acrylic Polymers Business Line of Evonik have a very clear idea of the future: “People who want to change the world should know about PLEXIGLAS®.” At this year’s Sign Africa show in Johannesburg, the manufacturer of this special material offers insight into the developments, products and applications of today and tomorrow.

PLEXIGLAS® is one of the world’s best-known brands of plastic and has become the very embodiment of acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA for short). This material stands out from other plastics due to its extremely long service life, its specific properties such as high resistance to UV light and weathering, high light transmission and unlimited coloring options. Added to this, PLEXIGLAS® shows the greatest surface hardness of all thermoplastics. It can be fabricated by means of all thermoforming methods, and therefore offers huge creative scope. Another major benefit is that PLEXIGLAS is 100% recyclable, which makes an essential contribution to saving resources.

“Many people think every transparent plastic is PLEXIGLAS®. But that is not the case. PLEXIGLAS® is a brand with very special, and indeed unique, properties, which was invented in Darmstadt in 1933 by Dr. Otto Röhm,” stresses Michael Träxler, Senior Vice President of the Acrylic Polymers Business Line.

Right from the start, PLEXIGLAS® has led the way when it comes to innovations and tapping into new fields of application. It set new standards with the first plastic covers for automotive taillights, enabled the innovative design of items such as “Snow White’s coffin” (the popular name for the cover of a Braun record player) and made air traffic more economical and safer by replacing glass in aircraft cabin windows. This plastic material set architectural standards during the construction of the Olympic Stadium in Munich. PLEXIGLAS® provides greater safety at a height of 270 m on the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge, measuring 2,460 m (Millau/France). It offers better quality of life in the form of highly effective noise control barriers in Hong Kong (“PLEXIGLAS® City”). “Our pioneering role in the past and present strengthens our confidence that we will continue to hold this pole position in the future too. Whenever something new made of PMMA sees the light of day, you can sure that we are behind it, with PLEXIGLAS®,” explains Michael Träxler.

Plastic is undeniably the material of the 21st century, and PLEXIGLAS® offers very special properties to meet the demands and challenges of tomorrow. PLEXIGLAS® combines infinite design options and myriad different functions with responsibility for the world we live in, through its sustainability and longevity. PLEXIGLAS® is a material that constantly reinvents itself. For the world is changing and calls for new solutions.

PLEXIGLAS® holds enormous potential in this context. One example is modern communications, which would not be possible at all without this material. Display screens, light guide plates and the surface of touch screens for cell phones, MP3 players and navigation systems are made from PLEXIGLAS®, as are light guides for flat-screen monitors in all sizes. Nor could large, ultra-slim TV sets with LED edge lighting be made without the use of PMMA.

PLEXIGLAS LED is an innovative transparent material from Evonik which is specially designed for transparent edge-lit applications using LEDs. This material emits much brighter light towards the viewer. PLEXIGLAS® LED is especially suited for transparent edge-lit applications in furniture, store fixtures, exhibition booths and lighting design.

PLEXIGLAS® is generally very much in demand as an interior design material. Luminous walls and glowing objects are set to replace classical lamps. They will draw just as much attention as PLEXIGLAS® Textures in Radiant grade. This new combination of a textured surface with a rainbow effect diffuses light in an interesting way and catches the eye through its shifting colors that change according to the viewing angle. PLEXIGLAS® Textures with the Radiant effect is particularly suitable for applications that are meant to steal the show, for example in store fixtures and exhibition booths, but also for interior design in bars, clubs or lounges. Lighting elements made from the new material in ceilings, floors and lamps are equally eye-catching.

Brand presentation for PLEXIGLAS®
To give this special plastic an even sharper profile, Evonik has launched its new brand presentation for PLEXIGLAS®. In so doing, the manufacturer of this material is sending a clear signal that PLEXIGLAS® is the plastic that helps shape the future. With its openness and dynamism, the “Swing” symbol in the new brand mark represents the infinite possibilities offered by PLEXIGLAS®. The color chosen for the new brand presentation, Evonik Deep Purple, represents creativity. In addition to the modified presentation, the PLEXIGLAS® brand family has been regrouped around its top products and services. The long-term aim is to give customers much easier and quicker access to the entire product range.

Evonik is one of the biggest PMMA manufacturers and a global leader in the PMMA market with its PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds and sheet products. The PLEXIGLAS® specialist continues to lead the field when it comes to innovations and tapping into new applications.

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

Company information

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2011 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €14.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.8 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.