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Polycarbonate is a dimensionally stable, transparent thermoplastic. Its structure allows for outstanding impact resistance and is used in many applications which demand high performance properties. This durable thermoplastic has been used in components, like automotive parts, due to its ability to hold up longer in extreme temperatures better than PMMA or Acrylic. Other uses can include aircraft parts, data storage devices, dome lights, eye protection, multiwall sheets, electronic components and more.

While these statistics can range based on configuration and use of the polycarbonate material, we find that polycarbonate was an upper working temperature as high as 266 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other end of the spectrum, it can be effective in temperatures -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frequently Asked Questions about Polycarbonate

Is it true that polycarbonate can't be broken and is indestructible?

No product, including polycarbonate, is indestructible. However, polycarbonate offers the highest impact strength available in a transparent thermoplastic. To optimize the properties of polycarbonate, be sure to design, fabricate and apply the product according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is Makrolon® the same as Lexan®?

Makrolon® and Lexan® are both tradenames for polycarbonate resin and sheet. Makrolon® is the tradename used by Bayer and Sheffield Plastics for polycarbonate material and Lexan® is used by General Electric for their polycarbonate material.

How do I clean polycarbonate sheet?

The best way to clean polycarbonate sheet is using mild soap and water and a soft cloth, followed by a lukewarm water rinse.

What's the best product to use for glass replacement in full view doors that are constantly broken?

Because of the heavy traffic through business entrances, abrasion resistant polycarbonate is your best bet.

How do I cut polycarbonate sheet?

Polycarbonate sheet can be cut using conventional carpentry tools. Always use proper safety equipment when working with any power tools. For best results, be sure to use sharp cutting tools and minimize vibration of the material.

How do I bond two pieces of polycarbonate together?

Polycarbonate material can be bonded using several techniques including solvent bonding, adhesive bonding or mechanical fastening.

I notice that lubricating oils are not recommended for polycarbonate. How do I keep the heat down during extensive machining operations?

Many machinists use a water spray. However, some find it not normally necessary due to the higher heat resistance of polycarbonate.

What is the best coolant to use on polycarbonate when machining a close tolerance part?

The recommended coolant is pure water. When close tolerances are required, you need to perform the machining in steps so that you do not add stress and movement within the part. You need to anneal/stress relieve after each step of machining.

Polycarbonate seems pretty flexible - can I utilize that flexibility in my design?

That flexibility is an inherent property that is used in many building and industrial designs. Polycarbonate can be cold-bent or “flexed” 180 times its thickness. Make sure that once bent, the material is securely held in place with the framing material.

I've tried in the past to heat form polycarbonate and have noticed that tiny bubbles appear all over the material. Can you help?

The bubbles you are experiencing is caused by water vapor boiling in the sheet. Polycarbonate must be dried prior to heat forming. Generally, four hours of drying at 250°F is sufficient to remove any water vapor present in the product.

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Types of Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate Sheet

Virtualty unbreakable, our polycarbonate sheet is approximately 250 times stronger than plate glass and thirty times stronger than acrylic of equal thickness.

Polycarbonate Sheet
Polycarbonate Rod

Polycarbonate rod is a semi-transparent thermoplastic that exhibits extraordinary impact resistance and excellent electrical properties.

Polycarbonate Rod
PC, Optical Grade

This amorphous thermoplastic is highly transparent to visible light – it rates highest among transparent, rigid thermoplastics – and has better light transmission characteristics than many kinds of glass.

PC, Optical Grade
PC, Machine Grade

The characteristics of polycarbonate are quite like those of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA; acrylic), but transparency, excellent toughness, thermal stability and a very good dimensional stability.

PC, Machine Grade
PC, Glass Filled

The addition of glass fibers to polycarbonate in various amounts (10%, 20%, 30% and 40%) increases tensile strength, stiffness, compressive strength, and lower the thermal expansion coefficient.

PC, Glass Filled
PC, Twin Wall Panels

Twin Wall Polycarbonate panels offer excellent insulation because of its ribbed configuration of the multi-walled sheets that trap air within the sheet, providing outstanding thermal insulation.

PC, Twin Wall Panels
Sunlite ML Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheet

Sunlite® ML allows combinations of different colors in one sheet, and adds a multi-layer technological edge to the already wide range of Sunlite® products.

Sunlite ML Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheet
Sunlite Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheet

Sunlite® multiwall sheets combine the characteristic strength of polycarbonate with superior insulation.

Sunlite Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheet
PC, 300 Polycarbonate General Purpose Grade

PC-300™ Polycarbonate (General Purpose Grade) is a plastic sheet product that controls static electricity for many PC 300 Pictureapplications, including windows, doors, mini-environment glazing panels, and machine guards, covers and enclosures

PC, 300 Polycarbonate General Purpose Grade
PC, 300 Static Dissipative Polycarbonate

PC-300™ Static Dissipative Polycarbonate is a plastic sheet product that controls static electricity for many applications, including windows, doors, mini-environment glazing panels, and machine guards, covers and enclosures.

PC, 300 Static Dissipative Polycarbonate
PC, 350 Static Dissipative Polycarbonate

PC-350™ Polycarbonate is a plastic sheet product that controls static electricity for many applications, including bent and contoured equipment covers, guards, enclosures, and panels.

PC, 350 Static Dissipative Polycarbonate
PC, Mirror

Mirror products are made by taking standard plastic sheet and mirrorizing the material, or by making it reflective. Plastic mirror can be made from acrylic, polycarbonate, or PETG.v

PC, Mirror
PC/PBT Alloy

An alloy formed with these two polymers produces a material with good chemical resistance as well as good heat and impact resistance. The PC contributes impact, stiffness and heat resistance, while the PBT contributes chemical resistance.

PC/PBT Alloy
Polycarbonate Machining & Fabrication

Acetal is a rigid, strong material that is available in copolymer and homopolymer compounds. Its properties include low moisture absorption, good chemical resistance and good dimensional stability

Polycarbonate Machining & Fabrication

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