Do You Know All The Pros And Cons About Polycarbonate?
Polycarbonates are naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastics that are created by the distillation of hydrocarbon fuels into lighter groups called fractions; some of which are combined with other catalysts to produce plastics through polymerization or polycondensation. Although polycarbonates are naturally transparent, expert polycarbonate sheet manufacturers make them commercially available in a wide range of colours, but in such a way that the material allows light transmission nearly similar to the capacity of glass.
What are the important characteristics of polycarbonates?
- Heat resistance – Polycarbonates have great heat resistance properties, and can be combined with flame retardant materials without the need of material degradation.
- Thermoplasticity – As mentioned above in the definition of polycarbonates, they are thermoplastics, which means that when heat is applied to them, they do not get burned. Instead, they become liquids at their melting point (which is 155° C). This property helps in the process of melting the polycarbonates, cooling them, and reheating them again without degradation so that they can be easily injection moulded and later recycled.
- Pliability – Polycarbonate can be formed at room temperature without cracking or breaking. Although deformation is much simpler with the application of heat, but without it too small angle bends are possible.
- Amorphous nature – Polycarbonates are amorphous plastics that tend to gradually soften rather than sharply transiting from solid to liquid.
What are the disadvantages of polycarbonates?
- Susceptible to scratching – Polycarbonates, even though being resistant to high impact, are susceptible to scratching. This is why they are not most preferred to be used in clear surfaces like a pair of glasses; and even if they are used, they are coated with a scratch resistant layer for protection.
- Toxic – Polycarbonates are considered to be hazardous when they come in contact with food due to the release of Bisphenol A (popularly known as BPA) during degradation due to material contact with water. Mostly, all polycarbonates are made by a combination of BPA and COCl2. However, due to the toxic effect that the release of BPA has, many polycarbonates today are made BPA free, which are mainly used for applications involving perishable food or water.
Where are polycarbonates used?
Polycarbonates are used in a variety of applications including both residential and commercial. Because they are lighter alternatives to glass and a natural UV filter, they replace glass in a wide range of applications. Some of the most popular uses include –
- Clear windows on prototype models
- Colour tinted translucent windows on prototype models
- Diffusers and light pipes for LEDs
- 3D printed models for high heat applications
- Clear tubes for sports equipment prototypes
- Clear moulds for urethane and silicone casting
- Machinery guards
- Applications that require reduced glare
Where should you purchase your polycarbonates from?
The best place you can get a variety of high grade polycarbonates for various kinds of applications is Tuflite Polymers. Providing clients with a range of solid, textured, multiwall, corrugated, profiled, greenhouse, and architectural polycarbonates has made Tuflite Polymers one of the most versatile polycarbonate sheet manufacturers in the country today.