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Spotlight on Polycarbonate

Without realising it, you’ve probably used a product with Polycarbonate in it today. You almost definitely will have used one in your lifetime! Polycarbonate (PC) is practically everywhere, used in multiple applications. It’s a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic with many desirable qualities and a unique combination of properties that make it a popular choice.

What is Polycarbonate?

PC is a high-performance, tough, amorphous and transparent thermoplastic polymer with organic functional groups linked together by carbonate groups. The material has the ability to internally transmit light almost as effectively as glass. It also holds high impact resistance compared with other frequently used plastics. Polycarbonate plastic is commonly used as an engineering plastic, thanks to unique features including:

  • High impact strength
  • Dimensional stability
  • Good electrical properties
  • Heat resistance (melting point: 155°C)

 

The characteristics and properties of PC include:

  • High impact strength and toughness
  • Light weight 
  • Ability to block UV light
  • Good optical properties
  • Chemical resistance 
  • Abrasion resistance 

 

Applications of Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate sheets are recognised for strength, flexibility and transparency. It’s a popular plastic in the creation of eyewear due to being lighter than glass and possessing a natural UV filter. Other applications for this versatile material include:

  • 3D-printed models for high-temperature applications
  • Machinery guards 
  • LED light pipes and diffusers 
  • Vehicle headlights 
  • Bulletproof glass 
  • Phone and computer casing 
  • Clear moulds for urethane and silicone casting
  • Clear windows on prototype models 
  • Kitchenware (microwavable) 
  • Medical apparatus 

 

For more information on Goodfellow’s range of Polycarbonate products, please contact the team today. We’re here to help with any questions you might have.