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Acrylate vs. Acrylic: Know the Difference

Dua Fatima
By Dua Fatima & Hifza Nasir || Updated on March 3, 2024
Acrylate is a chemical compound derived from acrylic acid, used in polymers and plastics; acrylic refers to synthetic materials containing acrylates, especially polymers of acrylic acid.
Acrylate vs. Acrylic

Key Differences

Acrylate compounds are known for their chemical reactivity and are used as building blocks in the synthesis of polymers. These compounds contain the acrylate group, which is a carbon double-bonded to an oxygen atom and single-bonded to another oxygen atom that is also bonded to a methyl group or hydrogen. On the other hand, acrylic materials are polymers derived from acrylates, showcasing a wide range of applications from paints to textiles due to their durability and resistance to weathering.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024
Acrylates serve as a critical component in the production of acrylic resins and plastics, providing the necessary molecular structure for polymerization, acrylic products are the end result of such processes, utilized in everyday items like acrylic paints, sheets, and fibers. Acrylic's versatility and adaptability stem from the properties of its acrylate building blocks, which allow for modifications to achieve desired characteristics such as transparency, flexibility, and color fastness.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024
Acrylates, with their low boiling points and ability to rapidly polymerize, are essential in manufacturing processes requiring quick-setting adhesives and sealants. Acrylic, in contrast, benefits from these properties by being available in various forms, including solid sheets and liquid paints, catering to diverse industrial and artistic needs.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024
In the context of environmental sustainability, acrylates can pose challenges due to their volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content and potential for polymerization in unintended settings. Acrylic materials, however, have been developed to be more eco-friendly with advancements in recycling processes and the production of bio-based acrylics, which aim to reduce environmental impact while maintaining material performance.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024
Acrylates are primarily used in specialized industrial applications, emphasizing their role in the creation of coatings, adhesives, and superabsorbent polymers. Acrylic, on the other hand, is widely recognized in the consumer market, known for its use in clear plastic sheets (Plexiglas), fashion items, and as a safe, durable alternative to glass.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Chemical compound derived from acrylic acid.
Synthetic materials made from acrylates.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Primary Use

Building block in polymer synthesis.
Wide range of applications, including textiles and paints.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

Physical State

Often in liquid form for industrial use.
Available in various forms, such as sheets and fibers.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

Environmental Impact

Challenges with VOCs and polymerization.
Advances in recycling and bio-based options.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Consumer Recognition

Known for industrial applications.
Recognized for consumer products like Plexiglas.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024
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Acrylate and Acrylic Definitions

Acrylate

A salt or ester of acrylic acid.
Methyl acrylate is used in the manufacture of polymers.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylic

Clear plastic material with glass-like clarity.
Acrylic sheets are used as a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylate

Reactive compound in polymer chemistry.
Acrylates rapidly polymerize under UV light.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylic

A synthetic polymer used in plastics and fibers.
Acrylic fibers are used in making sweaters.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylate

A monomer used in forming acrylic plastics.
Ethyl acrylate is a key monomer in producing paint emulsions.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024
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Acrylic

Fiber used in textiles and clothing.
Acrylic is favored in winter clothing for its warmth.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylate

Component in adhesives and coatings.
Acrylates contribute to the adhesive properties of glues.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylic

Material used in nail enhancements.
Acrylic nails are popular for their durability.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylate

Base material for synthetic rubbers.
Butyl acrylate is utilized in making synthetic rubber.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylic

Paint made from acrylic resin.
Acrylic paints dry quickly and offer vibrant colors.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Acrylate

A salt or ester of propenoic acid
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

(organic chemistry) Derived from acrylic acid or acrylonitrile.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylate

(organic compound) Any salt or ester of acrylic acid.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

Containing an acrylic resin.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

(painting) A paint containing an acrylic resin.
When it comes to painting, I prefer using acrylics as my medium.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

Of or containing acryl, the hypothetical radical of which acrolein is the hydride; as, acrylic acid. The characteristic residue in an acrylic compound is the carbonyl group attached directly to an ethylenic carbon.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

An acrylic resin.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A paint containing acrylic resin.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A painting done in acrylic resin.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

Any of numerous synthetic fibers polymerized from acrylonitrile.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

(organic chemistry) An acrylic resin.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A painting executed using such a paint.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A thick sheet of plastic.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A liquid coating system based on an acrylic resin.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A paint in which the pigment is suspended in a solution of an acrylic resin, which dries to a hard film on exposure to air.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A painting made using an acrylic paint.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

Polymerized from acrylonitrile
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A glassy thermoplastic; can be cast and molded or used in coatings and adhesives
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

A synthetic fabric
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Acrylic

Used especially by artists
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are acrylates and acrylic the same?

No, acrylates are the compounds that form the basis of acrylic materials.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

How are acrylates used?

They are used in making polymers for adhesives, paints, and coatings.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

What are the applications of acrylic?

Acrylic is used in products like paints, sheets, fibers, and nail enhancements.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

What is the difference between acrylic and glass?

Acrylic is lighter, more impact-resistant, and offers more flexibility in design than glass.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

What makes acrylates essential in polymer chemistry?

Their reactivity and ability to form various polymers make them essential.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Is acrylic durable?

Yes, acrylic is known for its durability and resistance to weathering and impact.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

Can acrylic be used outdoors?

Yes, due to its UV resistance and durability, acrylic is suitable for outdoor use.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

What are acrylates?

Acrylates are chemical compounds used as building blocks in the production of polymers.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

What is the significance of acrylic in art?

Acrylic paints offer artists quick-drying times and vibrant colors.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 03, 2024

Are all acrylic materials transparent?

No, while some acrylic products are transparent, others can be opaque or colored.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

What is acrylic?

Acrylic refers to synthetic materials made from acrylates, used in a wide range of applications.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

Can acrylic be recycled?

Yes, acrylic can be recycled, and advancements in this area are ongoing.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Are acrylates harmful to the environment?

Acrylates can pose environmental challenges, but efforts are being made to minimize their impact.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 03, 2024

How are acrylic fibers made?

Acrylic fibers are made by spinning polymers formed from acrylates into fibers.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

Is there a bio-based acrylic?

Yes, bio-based acrylics are being developed to offer more sustainable options.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 03, 2024

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Dua Fatima
Written by
Dua Fatima
Hifza Nasir
Co-written by
Hifza Nasir

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