Polycarbonate plastic materials have a balance of helpful features including temp resistance, impact resistance and optical properties position polycarbonates between commodity plastic materials and engineering materials.
Polycarbonate is definitely a tough material. Even though it features extraordinary impact-resistance, it possesses reduced scratch-resistance and thus a hard coating may be applied to polycarbonate eye wear lenses and polycarbonate exterior motor vehicle components. The properties of polycarbonate are along the lines of those of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA, acrylic), although polycarbonate is undoubtedly stronger, it is usable in a wider temperature range and is a bit more expensive. This plastic polymer is highly transparent to visible light and has better light transmission characteristics than most grades of glass.
Polycarbonate has a glass transition temperature of around 150 °C (302 °F), therefore it softens slowly above this point and flows above about 300°C (572 °F). Tools need to be held at warm to high temperatures, generally above 80 °C (176 °F) to make strain- and stress-free products.
Unlike almost all other thermoplastics, polycarbonate can undergo massive shape changes without cracking or breaking. As a result, it could be processed and formed without needing to be heated using sheet metal techniques, for instance forming bends on a brake. For even sharp angle bends with a tight radius, no heating is usually necessary. This makes it useful for prototyping applications where transparent or electrically non-conductive parts are important, which can not be crafted from sheet metal. Understand that PMMA/Plexiglas, which happens to be similar in looks to polycarbonate, but is brittle and cannot be bent at room temperature.
The light weight of polycarbonate, compared with glass, has led to advancement of electronic view screens that replace glass with polycarbonate, for use in mobile and portable devices. Such displays include newer e-ink and several LCD screens, though CRT, plasma screen and other LCD technologies which still require glass for its higher melting temperature and its ability to be etched in finer detail.
Other types of items made out of Polycarbonate include durable, lightweight luggage, MP3/digital audio player cases, computer cases, police riot shields, instrument panels, and blender jars. Many toys and hobby goods are made of polycarbonate parts, e.g. fins, gyro mounts, and flybar locks for use with radio-controlled helicopters.
For use in applications subjected to weathering or UV-radiation, a special surface treatment maybe needed. This either can be a coating (e.g. for improved abrasion resistance), or perhaps the coextrusion for enhanced weathering resistance.
Bayer Makrolon Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic that starts as a solid plastic material in the form of small pellets. In a manufacturing process called injection molding, the pelletized resin is heated until they melt and become a very thick liquid. This liquid polycarbonate is then rapidly pushed into molds, compressed under high pressure and cooled to produce a finished product , that only takes about a minute to complete.