October 8, 2020
We hear a lot about MMA nowadays. However, I’m not going to talk about mixed martial arts. But good news, I am going to discuss another exciting MMA: Methyl Methacrylate! MMA is the chemistry that is the basis of Dur-A-Flex’s Cryl-A-Flex line of resinous flooring systems.
The Cryl-A-Flex line of flooring offers decorative quartz or chip systems, pigmented broadcast systems, self-level systems, sanitary cove base, and ESD floors. Also, MMA is used for broadcast coats and topcoats as a part of the Hybri-Flex MQ, MC and MB flooring systems.
So what is an MMA resinous floor?
MMA is an acrylic reactive resin which has a super-fast cure (less than one hour), broad installation temperature range (0°F-90°F), is UV stable (interior/exterior), has great chemical resistance, superior abrasion resistance (no micro scratches), has excellent multi-substrate adhesion (concrete, wood, tile) and exhibits excellent inter-coat adhesion. These characteristics make for a great flooring system and it is these characteristics that have also made acrylics popular for the manufacturers of non-flooring related products.
In-fact, non-flooring related acrylic products have a long history, starting around WWII with the introduction of the patent for Plexiglas™. Acrylic production increased due to the manufacturing of windshields, gun turrets, periscopes, and other military related products. Now, acrylic products can be seen in almost every marketplace. Some MMA based products that we see commonly are: protective face shields, artificial finger nails, automotive light covers, dishware, memorabilia display cases, and sports arena spectator shields. Some not-so-common products are: bone cement and artificial joints, dentures and fillings, tattoo ink, reflective paints, bullet resistant acrylic glass and even fishing lures.
Back to Flooring
MMA resinous flooring systems are beneficial in many ways. Offering excellent chemical resistance, superior abrasion resistance, and UV stability, MMA flooring systems are ideal in many markets — both indoors and outdoors. The quick cure time allows for a faster installation and job completion. This is a win-win situation as it reduces down time for the facility and enables the flooring contractor to complete more projects.
Just like the many non-flooring related acrylic products, MMA flooring also has many diversified market applications such as:
Supermarkets – retail, food preparation, bottle return areas
Pharmaceutical – labs, cleanrooms, aisles, restrooms
Healthcare – dialysis centers, labs, operating suites, restrooms, lobbies
Food and Beverage – bottling, coolers, freezers, food preparation, dairy areas
Animal Care – operating suites, kennels, restrooms, lobbies
Industrial – light manufacturing, assembly, restrooms, lunch rooms, aisles
Hospitality & Entertainment – common areas, lobbies, restrooms
Pool Decks – commercial & residential
So how do I install an MMA floor, you ask?
The basic installation knowledge for a successful MMA floor installation is pretty simple. Just learn and follow the “3 Golden Rules”:
- Temperature: The cure process for MMA is initiated by a peroxide powder. The amount of powder is measured by volume ounces based on the current substrate temperature. Simply take the floor temperature with an infrared thermometer, check the mix chart for the proper amount of powder, measure, add to the MMA resin and mix for 45 seconds. Once the mixing is complete, the mixed product is ready to be poured out onto the floor.
- Thickness: MMA resins “weld” into each other during the cure process to create a “monolithic” chemical bond without “cold joints” or the danger of inter-coat delamination. To ensure proper cure and bond, most MMA coatings require a 14-16 wet film thickness during application / curing. The low viscosity of MMA resins allows the applicator to achieve the proper spread rate simply with an 18” paint roller for roller applied coats, and a pin or gauge rake set at ~1/8” for self-level applications.
- Ventilation: “Smells like money!” If you’ve ever heard that phrase before, then you know exactly what I am referring to. That pungent, sweet, fruity odor that has made MMA “infamous”. Exhaustive air movement is required on MMA installations for two reasons – odor reduction / control and proper curing. MMA vapor is heavier than air and requires a little coaxing from a high speed fan to be vented away from the surface of the coating. High-speed fans set at one or two strategic spots are usually enough engineering controls to ensure a smooth application and proper curing.
To Summarize the Many Benefits of MMA:
- Versatile market applications
- Full service in one hour
- Excellent chemical resistance
- Superior abrasion resistance
- UV stable – Exterior applications
- Job completion in one day
- Reduced down time for end user
- Allows applicator to do more jobs
Want to learn more about MMA? Your local Dur-A-Flex sales manager would love to discuss it with you. For more information or to schedule an onsite evaluation, please contact us by calling 877.251.5418, emailing or submitting this form.
Author: Bart Rinaldi
Bart is a Technical Services Manager in the South. His role involves working with customers to answer technical questions, troubleshoot issues and recommend the proper flooring system for their application.