Poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) is one of popular engineering polymers for many engineering applications such as glass substitutes, medical applications, electronic goods, optical fibers, laser disk optical media and so on. PMMA is a lightweight material with excellent optical properties and balanced mechanical properties. However, PMMA is commonly blended with various functional fillers, and rubber particles are one of them to improve the low impact toughness of unfilled PMMA comparing with other engineering polymers such as polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) copolymer and so on. PMMA is generally used to make exterior of a commercial product, so scratch characteristics of PMMA is very important in terms of the aesthetic point of view.
In this paper, rubber toughened PMMA plates are prepared by injection molding, and static and progressive scratch tests are performed. Samples are prepared by various injection molding conditions, and two orientations (machine direction and transverse direction) of the injection molded plate are considered for scratch tests. Three scratch damage mechanism stages, i.e. mar/ploughing, whitening and cutting stages, are identified by observing the scratch damages and two critical loads to define the variation of scratch damage mechanisms are recorded to evaluate the scratch resistance of rubber toughened PMMA samples. Scratch damage characteristics are examined by various microscopy techniques such as optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, optical profiler and so on. It is clearly observed that scratch damage characteristics of rubber toughened PMMA are changed sensitively for various test conditions due to rubber particles, so it can be known that the mold design should be carefully optimized to improve scratch characteristics of injection molded rubber toughened PMMA product.