Isobutyl methacrylate belongs to the group of carboxylic acid esters and is used in the manufacture of plastics as a monomer for polymerisation. The colorless liquid is formed by the esterification of isobutanol and methacrylic acid or methyl methacrylate.
The chemical industry uses iso-butyl methacrylate for the production of acrylic resins, adhesives and thermosetting coatings. It is also used in the synthesis of medical polymer materials and the production of adhesive fabrics for the textile industry. In addition, the compound plays an important role in the oil industry as an auxiliary in washing of lubricating oils.
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CAS no. 97-86-9
EINECS no. 202-613-0
Molecular formula: C8H14O2
Synonyms: Isobutyl methacrylate, iBMA, isobutyl methacrylate, 2-methylpropyl methacrylate
Application examples: Production of coatings, resins, adhesives and lubricating oil additives as well as materials for dental technology and textile finishing
The compound consists of the two components methacrylic acid and isobutanol. These have entered into a compound in the course of an esterification reaction and are held together by the oxygen atom of the so-called ester group. Iso-butyl methacrylate can be split back into these starting materials in the opposite way.
The colorless liquid has low volatility. Nevertheless, the vapors of the compound can form a highly flammable mixture with the ambient air, with the risk of explosion. The fumes are heavier than air and can spread unnoticed along the ground. The compound must therefore be kept away from electrostatic charges or sources of ignition.
Isobutyl methacrylate is only slightly soluble in water. On contact, it floats on water due to its lower density. The compound is very soluble in diethyl ether and ethanol. Because of its structure, iso-butyl methacrylate can undergo a polymerization reaction.
Iso-butyl methacrylate easily undergoes polymerization, particularly under the influence of high temperatures, light and contact with peroxides. When heated, pungent smelling and irritating gases are also produced. Spontaneous polymerisation in closed containers can lead to an explosion.
When reacting with strongly oxidizing acids, iso-butyl methacrylate can develop sufficient heat to immediately ignite the alcohols and acids formed during the reaction. In contact with alkali metals and alkali hydrides, gaseous hydrogen is formed, which is also flammable and explosive.
Due to the high reactivity and the tendency to spontaneous polymerization under certain environmental influences, isobutyl methacrylate should only be stored in airtight containers made of aluminum or stainless steel and at temperatures below 25 °C. However, an air pocket in the container is important for stabilization.
Isobutyl methacrylate is irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Severe eye irritation is possible. Contact with isobutyl methacrylate can also trigger allergic skin reactions. The compound can be inhaled not only as a vapor but also as an aerosol and can cause drowsiness in addition to irritation of the respiratory tract.
The compound is considered very toxic to aquatic organisms. Escaping into the sewage system, surface water or the environment must therefore be avoided at all costs.