Methacrylate Monomers: Our Heritage


Our Heritage

  • heritage_1930s

    Demand for safety glass grows and aircraft production begins. By 1938 Perspex® is the landmark product in the embryonic plastics industry.

  • heritage_1940s

    Half a million special reflectors of accurately machined PERSPEX® are made for the 1944 D-Day landings.

  • heritage_1950s

    Designer LUCITE® purses are now vintage collectors’ items. They continue to grace the arms of style icons the world over.

  • heritage_1960s

    ICI helps develop the first domestic baths and the ‘Swinging Sixties’ leads to acrylics being used for disc dresses, shoes, handbags, hats and more.

  • heritage_1970s

    An impressive PERSPEX® fountain welcomes visitors to the British Pavilion at World Expo in Japan in 1970.


    Motor giant, Ford, chooses PERSPEX® for a major re-branding programme where exacting colour and performance are key.

  • heritage_1980s

    In 1983, ICI sponsors the World Squash Championships in Great Britain. Spectators view play through a clear PERSPEX® squash court.

  • heritage_1990s

    As environmental awareness increases, ICI introduces a new recovery and recycling scheme and helps customers to participate.


    PERSPEX® Clearview is developed for acoustic screens that are used as part of Europe’s expanding motorway network.

  • heritage_2000s

    Lucite International builds its first MMA plant in Caojing, China. The technology boom means acrylic is in demand for LCD screens, electronics fascias and more.

  • heritage_2010s

    KMC further develops its directional signage with special lighting effects to improve road safety in Taiwan.


Lucite International was created from the acrylic businesses of ICI and DuPont. ICI Acrylics was formed in the 1930s, when it invented the first commercial process for MMA. It went on to acquire DuPont’s acrylics business, and in 1999, Charterhouse Development Capital became involved in rebranding the Company Lucite International. In 2009 Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation became the new owners of the Company.


A defining quality of Lucite International’s rich heritage has to be its commitment to innovation and all that it embraces. From the 1940s when Perspex® acrylic was used to replace glass canopies in Spitfire fighter planes, pioneering acrylic baths in the 60s and 70s to help transform living standards, to being part of the winning team that achieved a R&D100 Award in 2011 for work to revolutionize the safety of offshore oil extraction, we are proud of our heritage that has innovation firmly at its core.

Today, more than ever, our commitment to invest in innovation comes back to our fundamental believe that acrylic has a major contribution to make in the developing world.

Corporate History

– ICI invents the first commercial technology process for MMA.
– ICI commences production of MMA and Perspex® sheet in the UK.
– DuPont commences production of MMA and Lucite® sheet in the USA.

– ICI establishes its first UK production site for Perspex®.

– DuPont expands in the US, establishing operations in Memphis (MMA) and Parkersburg.
– ICI expands into Europe, establishing the Rozenburg (PMMA) operation near Rotterdam.

– ICI establishes Kaohsiung Monomer Company, a joint venture with CPDC in Taiwan to produce MMA.
– The first modern continuous cast sheet line is installed in Memphis, USA.

– Acrylics business established within ICI.

– DuPont and ICI invest US$500m in new MMA facilities in the USA, UK and Taiwan.
– ICI acquires DuPont’s acrylic assets.

– Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP acquires ICI Acrylics and forms Ineos Acrylics.
– Capacity expansion at Cassel, and Darwen, UK

– Acquisition of Acrylic Products, the leading acrylic sheet producer in South Africa and Bonar Polymers, a UK specialty resins company.
– The facility at Fite Road, Tennessee, USA becomes the first MMA plant worldwide to move from a two to three-year overhaul frequency.
– ACH plant and pipeline commissioned at Seal Sands, UK.
– Alpha pilot plant successfully completed, technology proven and patented.
– Lucite International (China) Chemical Industry Co Ltd is formed and construction of the China MMA plant begins.
– Site selection process for the first Alpha MMA plant begins.
– Commercialization stage of Alpha technology reached.
– Lucite International announces its first Alpha technology plant to be built in Singapore.
– Lucite International and MRC agree a MMA capacity sharing agreement under which Lucite International will supply MRC from its new Singapore facility and MRC will supply Lucite International from a new facility in Texas, USA.
– China plant becomes operational.
– Acquisition of DuPont Acrylonitrile plant at Beaumont.
– Construction of world’s first Alpha plant begins.
– Lucite International acquires DuPont’s HCN production facility at Beaumont, Texas, USA.
– Alpha plant in Singapore becomes fully operational.
– Lucite International acquired by Mitsubishi Rayon Co Ltd.
– Lucite International becomes a group company of Mitsubishi Chemical.