Polycarbonate plastic products offer a balance of helpful features which include temperature resistance, impact resistance and optical properties position polycarbonates in between commodity plastics and engineering materials.
Polycarbonate is definitely a rugged material. Although it offers very high impact-resistance, it has lower scratch-resistance and so a hard coating is applied to polycarbonate eyewear as well as polycarbonate exterior auto components. The characteristics relating to polycarbonate are generally similar to that of those of Acrylic PMMA materials, and yet polycarbonate is undoubtedly stronger, it is usable in a wider temperature range and is a bit more expensive. This plastic polymer is highly transparent to visible light and it has better light transmission characteristics than many different types of glass.
Polycarbonate has a glass transition temperature of approximately 150 Â°C (302 Â°F), consequently it softens gradually above this point and flows above about 300Â°C (572 Â°F). Tools need to be held at higher temperatures, generally above 80 Â°C (176 Â°F) to make strain- and almost stress free products.
Unlike many thermoplastics, polycarbonate can undergo large changes in basic shape without breaking. For this reason, it could be processed and formedÂ Â without needing to be heated using standard sheet metal techniques, which include forming bends with a brake. For even sharp angle bends with a tight radius, no heating is usually necessary. This makes it valuable in prototyping applications where transparent or electrically non-conductive parts are required, which may not be created from sheet metal. Keep in mind that PMMA/Plexiglas, that is similar in looks to polycarbonate, but is brittle and cannot be bent without heating.
The light weight of polycarbonate, in contrast to glass, has led to development of electronic touch screens that replace glass materials with polycarbonate, for use in mobile and portable devices. Such displays include newer e-ink as well as LCD screens, though CRT, plasma screen and other LCD technologies generally still require glass for its higher melting temperature and its ability to be etched with finer detail.
Other kinds of items created from Polycarbonate include durable, lightweight luggage, MP3/digital audio player cases, computer cases, high impact riot shields, instrument panels, and common style blender jars. Many toys and hobby items are constructed from polycarbonate parts, e.g. fins, gyro mounts, and flybar locks for use with radio-controlled helicopters.
For use in applications subjected to weathering or UV-radiation, a special surface treatment could be needed. This may be a coating (e.g. for improved abrasion resistance), or as a coextrusion for enhanced weathering resistance.
Bayer Makrolon Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic that starts as a solid plastic material in the form of small pellets. In a manufacturing process called injection molding, the pellets are heated until they melt in to a thick liquid. The liquid polycarbonate is then rapidly pushed into a mold with the empty part being the size and shape of the part you want, compressed under high pressure and cooled to produce a finished product in less than a minute.