Everything You Need to Know About Polycarbonate

June 24, 2021 5:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Unless you’re in the plastic manufacturing business, you probably don’t realize that there are tons of different types of plastic that all have various uses. One of our favorite types to work with is called polycarbonate, which is a thermoplastic used in all sorts of industries. Keep reading to learn all about polycarbonate sheets.

Where is polycarbonate used?

Polycarbonate is one of the most versatile plastics on the market, so it should be no surprise that it’s used in all sorts of products. You’ll find polycarbonate used for plastic eyewear lenses, medical devices, automotive parts, DVD and Blu-ray discs, exterior lighting fixtures and much more. Polycarbonate can even be used in lieu of glass for some types of windows.

What are the benefits of polycarbonate?

Every plastic we work with at D&D Plastics has its own perks, but polycarbonate stands out from the crowd for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few of the benefits of using it:

  • Recyclable: As mentioned above, polycarbonate is a thermoplastic, which means it can be heated to its melting point, cooled and reheated again. This property makes polycarbonate easy to work with and recyclable. In fact, you may be able to get a refund for recycling your unused polycarbonate.
  • Fireproof: Unlike some types of plastic, like acrylic sheets, polycarbonate is a fire-resistant plastic. It has a fire rating of B1, which means it won’t burn when exposed to an open flame. Polycarbonate is even self-extinguishing—you really don’t have to worry about it near a fire!
  • Virtually unbreakable: Along with being fire resistant, polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than glass. Because it’s impact resistant, it’s commonly used as a component of bulletproof glass. You’ll also find polycarbonate used as protection from extreme weather and flying debris.
  • Insulating: Polycarbonate retains heat much better than glass or other types of plastic. Gardeners prefer it to glass for their greenhouses because it creates the ideal conditions for growing all sorts of different tropical plants.
  • Easy to work with: Although a plastic fabricator can cut your polycarbonate sheets to your exact specifications, you might not need them to. Polycarbonate is commonly available in thicknesses ranging from 4 millimeters to 32 millimeters. Whether your sheet is thick or thin, you can typically use everyday tools to cut it, and it’s easy to shape at room temperature.
  • Lightweight: Going along with being easy to cut and shape, this plastic is incredibly light. A sheet of polycarbonate is half as heavy as a pane of glass of the same size. This property makes it easy to transport and install.

Are there any downsides to polycarbonate?

Using polycarbonate clearly has a ton of advantages. If there’s one downside, though, it’s that the material is prone to scratches. For that reason, fabricators coat the plastic with a scratch-resistant layer for ultimate protection.

D&D Plastics can meet all of your needs

Whether you need a team to fabricate acrylic, ABS or polycarbonate sheets, we have you covered. In addition to fabrication, we provide a variety of other services like plastic design and repair, injection molding and much more. Give us a call today to get started with your next plastic project.

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