In the field of architecture, the demand for long-lasting products is growing. Starting in 2018, Evonik will produce multi-layered PLEXIGLAS® films with which exterior components will look good for decades.

Evonik is investing double-digit millions in a new production plant at the Weiterstadt site for multi-layered films made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which is the proper chemical term for PLEXIGLAS®. “This strengthens our position as a driver of innovations for acrylic based technologies and products,” says Martin Krämer, Head of the Acrylic Products division. The new plant can produce particularly broad films with a higher number of layers than was previously possible.

Protection against wind and weather

One of the ways multi-layered PMMA films are used in construction, is as a cover layer for facade elements and window profiles. This makes them a good alternative to paints and other coatings, which can easily flake or age quickly. “The weather resistance of PLEXIGLAS® is unmatched, as it consists of UV stable molecules, which are mixed with highest-quality UV absorbers,” explains Michael Enders, responsible for films in the Acrylic Products division. “The films act as a protective layer for the materials underneath.”

Sustainable architecture

For example, one manufacturer produces facade elements from fiberglass plates, which have a cover layer of PLEXIGLAS® film. The film protects the thermosetting resins and fiberglass, so that the plates keep looking extremely attractive and brilliant for a long time. Flat laminate panels, which are used as the outermost layer when heat insulation is retrofitted to houses, for example, are also protected with PLEXIGLAS® films. “With the new multi-layered films, we can make such exterior components in architecture last for decades,” says Enders.

Larger format possible

The new plant also opens up new design and processing possibilities for facade design: “We can produce even wider special films, which in turn allow for larger facade elements,” Enders explains. “This is a true added value for our customers and the consumers.”