Unfortunately for DuPont, the Rohm & Haas Chemical Company discovered methyl methacrylate at about the same time and developed it under the name Plexiglas. A third player, ICI, developed a more efficient production process. Both DuPont and Rohm & Haas licensed the process and began commercial production in 1936. Lucite, however, never generated substantial earnings for DuPont.
Lucite - A New World Through Chemistry
Lucite plastic aircraft enclosures and windshields
Since it was that company’s primary product, Rohm & Haas was able to commit more resources to Plexiglas and it consistently undercut DuPont in price. While sales of polymethyl methacrylate dwindled, the Lucite name lived on. During the 1950s, DuPont developed two distinct lines of acrylic resin coatings: Lucite acrylic automobile finish lacquers, marketed commercially in 1956, and Lucite acrylic paints, introduced to consumers in 1960. In 1963, DuPont commercialized an exterior, acrylic Lucite house paint, and 10 years later introduced a Lucite interior enamel with Teflon® E added. These products never caught hold, however. DuPont sold its consumer paint business in 1983 and its acrylic resin operations 10 years later. Today the Lucite name is carried on in the DuPont line of commercial acrylic automotive lacquers.