POLYCARBONATE (PC)

Polycarbonate is classed as an engineering thermoplastic.  It is strong, stiff, hard and generally transparent.  It is frequently blended with other materials such as PBT, ABS and ASA to achieve different properties for specific applications.

Please Note: This page is for information purposes only. Rutland Plastics is an Injection Moulder and does not supply polymers.

PROPERTIES

The properties for polycarbonate are similar to those associated with metals.  It has excellent resistance to high temperatures, up to 140˚C.  Impact resistance is outstanding, especially at low temperatures, and flame retardant and glass reinforced grades are available.  The material is suitable for outdoor use with the addition of UV stabilisers, however it is susceptible to crazing when strained.

COLOURING

The natural colour of the material is transparent so it is available in a wide range of colours.

Finishing

The material can be machined but care must be taken to avoid scratching.  Can be glued using epoxides or hot melt adhesives.  Can be decorated by silk screen printing, hot foiling or spraying.  Can be ultrasonically welded.

CHEMICAL RESISTANCE

Mineral Acids (dilute)Excellent
Mineral Acids (concentrated)Fair
AlkaliFair
AlcoholGood
KetoneFair
Aromatic HydrocarbonFair
Chlorinated HydrocarbonFair
DetergentsGood
Oils, GreasesGood

In addition, polycarbonate has low resistance to hot water (above 60˚C).  It is liable to stress cracking when in contact with aromatic fuels.

POLYCARBONATE USE

Electric/Electronic41.8%
Construction26.7%
Automotive9.5%
Teletronics7.6%
Packaging3.2%
Semi-Finished Goods3.2%
Household Non-Electrical2.0%
Sports/Leisure1.0%
Other5.1%

APPLICATIONS

The main applications for polycarbonate are in medical applications, glazing, lighting, electronics and electrical engineering.  Typical products include CDs and DVDs, syringes, spectacles, safety helmets and cameras.  Automotive applications include car bumpers, front panels and wings and, more recently, headlamp lenses and some clear roof panels.