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PMMA vs. Soda-lime Glass

PMMA and soda-lime glass belong to fundamentally different material chemistries. PMMA is a polymeric material, while soda-lime glass is ceramic. Therefore, their performance will be even more dissimilar than would be suggested by the difference in properties. There are 15 material properties with values for both materials. Properties with values for just one material (18, in this case) are not shown.

For each property being compared, the top bar is PMMA and the bottom bar is soda-lime glass.

Metric UnitsUS Customary Units

Mechanical Properties

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus, GPa 3.2
70 to 71
Shear Modulus, GPa 1.7
Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS), MPa 71
41 to 180

Thermal Properties

Specific Heat Capacity, J/kg-K 1260
720 to 800
Thermal Conductivity, W/m-K 0.19
1.0 to 1.1
Thermal Expansion, µm/m-K 76
8.8 to 9.0

Electrical Properties

Dielectric Strength (Breakdown Potential), kV/mm 30

Otherwise Unclassified Properties

Density, g/cm3 1.2
Refractive Index 1.5

Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial, points 1.5
Stiffness to Weight: Bending, points 42
Strength to Weight: Axial, points 17
4.6 to 20
Strength to Weight: Bending, points 32
11 to 28
Thermal Diffusivity, mm2/s 0.13
0.51 to 0.6
Thermal Shock Resistance, points 21
4.7 to 20