Your Guide To Polycarbonate

Posted by on Jan 8, 2021 in Blog posts

PolycarbonatePolycarbonate can be thought of as somewhat similar to glass. It’s a transparent material that can be extruded to create a number of commercial products. Some of the most popular include bulletproof glass, eyeglass lenses, PPE, and exterior lighting fixtures. 

This material is used in situations where strength and impact-resistance are required. Polycarbonate is a strong material that is resistant to both high temperatures and impact. Many prefer to use polycarbonate instead of traditional glass because it doesn’t shatter. 

A Thermoplastic Material

Polycarbonate is well-known for being a thermoplastic material. Any thermoplastic material is capable of being heated up and formed into a product. Once a melting point is reached and the polycarbonate material turns into a liquid, it can be shaped into almost any product. 

Thermoplastic materials can be melted, cooled, and reheated all over again without causing any major degradation to the material. This property makes thermoplastics like polycarbonate great for manufacturing as they can be recycled over and over again- a very important feature in today’s environment.

What Is Polycarbonate Used For?

Keller Plastics produces many different polycarbonate extrusions that companies use throughout the country. Since polycarbonate is very transparent, light-weight, and sustains its integrity in high-impact situations, it’s used in a variety of applications in almost all industries. Some of the most common products made with extruded polycarbonate include:

  • Windows
  • Eyeglass Lenses
  • Machine Guards
  • LED Light Pipes
  • Wall Protectors
  • Display Cabinets

Polycarbonate extrusions are very popular as a convenient alternative to glass. While most polycarbonate is left in its natural state of transparency, it can be tinted. One of the most desired applications is tinting the polycarbonate to naturally reduce the sun’s glare on outdoor signs and light covers. 

Polycarbonate Grades And Additives

Extruding polycarbonate is not always easy but Keller Plastics extrudes it every day. The material must be dried thoroughly before extruding and Keller Plastics has special dryers to do this. Keller Plastics also runs a special UV stable material for solar panels that are expected to last over 20 years.

Many other additives can be utilized in polycarbonate production to achieve various results for different applications. Some common polycarbonate grades that you’ll find on the market today include:

  • Glass-Filled
  • General Purpose
  • Light Diffusing
  • Flame Inhibiting
  • Low Flammability
  • Antimicrobial
  • Bullet Resistant
  • UV Blocking

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Polycarbonate?

While polycarbonate has many strengths, like high impact resistance, it does have one major disadvantage. The material is susceptible to scratching. More recently, Keller Plastics, alongside other manufacturers, have started coating the polycarbonate products with a scratch-resistant layer to ensure optimal protection.

Contact Keller Plastics today to get all of your polycarbonate products. We offer free tooling for all new customers.