Acrylic resins are a group of related thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic substances derived from acrylic acid, methacrylic acid or other related compounds. Polymethyl acrylate is an acrylic resin used in an emulsed form for lacquer, textile finishes, adhesives and, mixed with clay, to gloss paper. Another acrylic resin is polymethyl methacrylate which is used to make hard plastics with various light transmitting properties.
The chemical name for the resin produced from the methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA) is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). MMA is a transparent and colorless fluid substance. One of the main characteristic features of PMMA is its high transparency. With its high weather resistance, it has been known to last over 30 years, it does not easily turn yellow or crumble when exposed to sunlight. Polymethyl methacrylate is used not only for transparent windows in aquariums but also for various items such as signboards in places like convenience stores, taillights of automobiles, bathtub liners, sinks, cell phone display screens, backlight optical waveguides for liquid crystal displays (LCD) and so on.
The advantages of acrylic resins are:
- Better stain protection (washability)
- Water resistance
- Better adhesion
- Better blocking ('strap down')
- Resist cracking and blistering better
- Resistance to alkali cleaners
Current market and forecast 
The global demand on acrylic resin approached roughly US$14.5 billion in 2011. With an annual growth rate of 4-5%, the acrylic resin market is expected to reach US$16.6 billion by 2014 and US$22 billion by 2020. Acrylic resins are used in a wide range of applications for the outstanding chemical characteristics and unique aesthetic properties. Currently, the strongest demand comes from automotive and medical device markets, and paints & coatings, adhesive & sealant and construction & architecture are the major application markets for acrylic resin.
See also 
- acrylic resin definition, TheFreeDictionary quoting The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
- Methyl Methacrylate epa.gov, 2000, 'a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid that is soluble in warm water'
- Dean Sickler. "Water-based Alchemy". Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- "Market Report: Global Acrylic Resin Market". Acmite Market Intelligence.