Polycarbonate is an advanced material. Thus, when considering polycarbonate profiles for an extrusion project, you need to ensure that your manufacturer has experience in extruding polycarbonate! And Keller Products can deliver. We have years of experience both designing AND manufacturing polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate is an excellent material for plastic profiles. Polycarbonate profiles have great stiffness, toughness, impact resistance and are clear. Polycarbonate profiles have excellent colorability with a beautiful gloss finish that can mimic glass and metal. Polycarbonate profiles have very good electrical insulation characteristics, do not burn readily, and some people claim that Polycarbonate can be considered “self extinguishing.” Additionally, Polycarbonate profiles have great dimensional stability and service temperatures close to 300° F.
Polycarbonate profiles can be used outdoors but some yellowing in clear Polycarbonate profiles can occur after years in use. Polycarbonate profiles have fair to good resistance to solvents, but may have a tendency to stress crack upon exposure to certain chemicals. Polycarbonate profiles have good stain resistance to coffee, tea, fruit juices, inks, soaps, detergents, and cosmetics.
Polycarbonates were initially developed in the late 19th century. However, they were not effectively commercialized until the 1950’s. Since then, polycarbonates have been heavily employed in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, and electrical components. Some of the main advantages of polycarbonate profiles are:
- Outstanding toughness
- Temperature resistance up to 250 degrees F
- Good stiffness relative to other plastic materials
Polycarbonate is more expensive than other plastic compounds, but in most cases, it is worth the extra investment because of its advantages. Some more unique advantages of polycarbonate profiles include:
- Superior impact strength
- Ability to reduce wall thickness up to 25% without sacrificing any properties
- High degree of elasticity; resistant to denting and kinking when bent upon itself
Polycarbonate profiles also have excellent electrical properties and light transmittance values—typically ranging from 86-90%. In addition, flame retardant grades are available, along with special grades that are clear AND flame retardant (typically used in the transportation industry). Polycarbonate profiles present unique manufacturing challenges—they must be dried well below recommended levels to maintain maximum impact strength. In polycarbonate profiles, the gloss levels of the finished product are typically high. At Keller Products, we can overcome this by using special additives that will result in a matte finish if desired. When considering polycarbonate profiles for an extrusion project, you need to ensure that your manufacturer has experience in extruding polycarbonate! Keller Products has extensive experience in both designing and manufacturing polycarbonate.
Polycarbonates are extremely versatile. Typical uses for polycarbonate profiles include football helmets, exit lights, bulletproof glass, skylights, and firefighting equipment. It is truly one of the toughest plastic materials available today. Check out our Markets Served page for a full list of polycarbonate plastic extrusions markets.
ABS is a wonderful, easy to use, all around plastic material that is based on three materials. The material has good impact strength along with good rigidity. ABS is relatively lightweight, has great colorability and is used in the automotive industry, for household appliances and can be electroplated. ABS profiles do not have the greatest chemical resistance, do not like years of sunlight exposure and have an upper service temperature of about 180° (F). We offer a non-halogenated flame retardant grade of ABS plastic for production of RoHS compliant ABS profiles.
We extrude ABS profiles for a number of customer applications. Some consider ABS profiles as lower cost replacements for Polycarbonate. ABS plastic can be used as an alternative to PVC in many applications.
ABS, short for Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a common thermoplastic. This does not mean it is easy to run, however. ABS is another advanced profiles type that requires experience and precise engineering. Our skilled team of engineers has im-mense experience running all types of thermoplastics, including ABS. We’ve designed ABS plastic extrusions for a variety of purposes. Take a look at our Markets Served page for a full list of ABS markets we’ve served in the past. Plastic extrusions are our business, and ABS profiles are no exception.
This polymer was first invented by DuPont (E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company) back in the 1930’s. There are a number of Nylons available that have some very interesting properties (Nylon 11, Nylon 12, and Amorphous Nylon [clear]). The two most common Nylons are Nylon 6 and 6, 6. The most common grade used for Nylon profiles is Nylon 6, since it typically has a slightly better melt strength.
Nylon is extremely tough and impact resistant along with exhibiting good abrasion resistance (fishing line and weed trimmer line). Nylon profiles have very good solvent resistance but keep in mind it will absorb moisture which will affect its stiffness — lower it. Nylon is pretty good for outdoor use with the proper stabilization package. It does not typically have the stiffness that a Polycarbonate or ABS would have, so be careful in selecting it for applications that require stiffness. Glass can be added to Nylon to increase its stiffness but that sometimes hurts the surface finish, especially in extrusion.