MMA. The wine you would never drink.
In the polymer flooring world, we all know the wonderful properties MMA flooring systems provide. MMA flooring systems are extremely durable, chemically resistant, decorative and cure within an hour. Chemically speaking, methyl methacrylate is a colorless methyl ester liquid of methacrylic acid (MAA). Simple enough, but what does all that mean? What if I told you it actually means "Wine made from wood and smelly oil"?
To make sense of all of this we need to understand word origins and their linguistic roots. Methyl methacrylate is composed of three separate words, methyl and a portmanteau of methyl and acrylate. Let’s begin with the term "methyl". ”Methyl" has an interesting back story and was introduced around 1840 by French chemists Eugene Peligot and Jean-Baptiste Dumas from the back formation of methylene. Methylene, in turn, was named from the Greek words methy, meaning "wine," and hyle, for "wood or patch of trees." Methyl alcohol roughly translates to "alcohol made from a woody substance."
What do we pair our "wine made from a woody substance" with? Well, the obvious answer is to finish this concoction with a dash of a pungent oil called "acrylate". In chemistry, acrylates are esters of acrylic acid. Acrylic acids are used in the formation of polymers. It's uses include plastics, coatings, adhesives, elastomers, paints, and polishes. The term "Acrylic" was created in 1843 as a derivative of acrolein. Acrolein was first named by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1839. He had been working with it as a thermal degradation product of glycerol, a material used in the manufacture of soap. The name is a contraction of ‘acrid’ (referring to its pungent smell) and ‘oleum’ (referring to its oil-like consistency).
So, there you have it. Methyl methacrylate's are wood made high performance fast curing wines enhanced with smelly oil. The wine you would never drink.