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Features

  • Easy formability
  • Wide range of applications
  • Shiny surface
  • Good machinability
  • Relatively low cost
  • Hardness
  • Low weight
  • Flame-retardant

About Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is a transparent, impact resistant and durable material. It's often used for protective equipment and as a cheaper and lighter substitute for glass. Polycarbonates are easily molded, thermo-formed and are easily worked with. It is often used for 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding and other types of manufacturing methods

Order in Polycarbonate
Healthcare

Healthcare

Aerospace

Aerospace

VR

VR

Properties

Property Value
Service temperature−40 °C (−40 °F) and 80 °C (176 °F)
Density1.20–1.22 g/cm³
Tensile Strength59 MPa (8,500 PSI)
Flexural Strength93 MPa (13,500 PSI)
Elongation (ε) at break80–150%
Young's modulus (E)2.0–2.4 GPa

Description

Polycarbonate (PC) is an impact resistant, durable plastic that has flame-retardant properties. This material is often used when impact resistance and/or transparency are a product requirement (for instance, bullet-proof glass). PC is commonly used for plastic lenses in eye wear, in medical devices, automotive components, protective gear, greenhouses, and cases for CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks. PC has very good heat resistance and can undergo large plastic deformations without cracking or breaking. As with other thermoplastics, it can be heated to its melting point, cooled, and reheated again without significant degradation. Polycarbonate is often used for subtractive machining processes on a mill or lathe. Machined parts may require some post processing to remove tool marks and to restore the transparent nature of the material. Besides, PC is used as a material for FDM 3D printing.

Common Uses

  • Machinery guards
  • Electrical insulator
  • Medical applications
  • Translucent prototypes
  • Automotive headlamp lenses
  • Windows on prototype models
  • Diffusers and light pipes for LEDs
  • Clear molds for urethane and silicone casting

Advantages

  • Durable
  • Translucent
  • Resistant to ultraviolet
  • A good electrical insulator
  • Has high impact-resistance
  • Has flame-retardant properties

Disadvantages

  • Low scratch-resistance
  • Has relatively high cost
  • Highly sensitive to abrasive cleaners and solvents
  • The manufacturing process requires phosgene (can be toxic)

Cover image by Design Iniative

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