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BUTYL METHACRYLATE (BMA) FAQ

Learn about BMA's distinguishing attributes, where it's used, and get storage and handling information.

What are the distinguishing attributes of BMA?

Butyl methacrylate (BMA) is a versatile, plasticizing methacrylate monomer that acts as an important building block in many copolymer compositions. Serving as a base for acrylic resins, BMA provides exceptional weather resistance, high gloss, color retention, and durability. BMA contributes more intermediate glass transition and hardness values, with a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 20 C.

Where is BMA used?

BMA is used in both homopolymer and copolymer compositions across many products that we see in everyday life. Copolymer applications include water-borne industrial and architectural paints, textiles, paper and leather coatings, wood coatings, adhesives, inks, caulks, and sealants. The homopolymer is added to harder resin systems to increase toughness, flexibility, and softness. It is a highly versatile acrylic ester that is useful across a wide variety of applications. BMA boasts flexibility, durability, UV, and moisture resistance in exterior decorative paints and automotive finishes.

How is BMA formed?

BMA is formed by the reaction of methacrylic acid or methyl methacrylate with butanol. This forms a clear, colorless liquid with an ester-like odor.

What special attention is required in handling BMA?

BMA is classified as hazardous (meaning flammable, irritating, sensitizing, and toxic/harmful to aquatic life), but the chemical industry has handled it safely for more than 80 years. Like any acrylic monomer, BMA requires special care in handling as it is flammable and may cause irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, and throat. It should always be handled with caution.

BMA will readily self-polymerize if not properly stored and handled. This process happens fast, generating huge amounts of heat and pressure. It is crucial to store stabilized BMA under air and to replenish dissolved oxygen over time. For more information, please reference this brochure: BASF Brochure 

To obtain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and other handling information, please:

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