The Many Uses and Benefits of Polycarbonate
Polycarbonate is a versatile material that offers a wide range of benefits for both consumers and commercial applications, being strong, durable, heat resistant and can be moulded into a variety of shapes and sizes. Dr. Hermann Schnell of Bayer invented polycarbonate (PC) resin in 1953, just one week before chemist Dr. Daniel Fox of GE made the same discovery while working on developing a new wire insulation material, and has since been used to create countless products around the globe. Let us explore the many uses and benefits of Polycarbonate, the types of polycarbonate products available and Mulford Plastics line of Polycarbonate products that you will need for your next project.
What is Polycarbonate
Polycarbonate is a rigid and amorphous thermoplastic material with high impact strength that offers many unique properties. Polycarbonate natural raw form is transparent in nature making it perfect for use on various applications where an advantage of clarity over other plastics will be appreciated such as windows or bottles among others things.
The properties of this material make it one the best choices when looking for engineering applications, with high impact strength, dimensional stability and electrical conductivity being just some examples among many others that show how well-suited these materials can be in various fields from architecture to manufacturing.
The most common way that polycarbonate is manufactured is through condensation polymerization of bisphenol A (BPA) and phosgene, with an injection moulding, extrusion moulding, blow moulding or thermoforming process.
Polycarbonate Advantages & Applications
Polycarbonate boasts a wide range of benefits and advantages over many other types of commercially used materials, with these benefits including;
- Highly Transparent - The transparency of Polycarbonate is a good as glass with the added benefit of the additional strength
- Extremely Durable - Polycarbonate has a very high impact resistance and is practically unbreakable
- Weather resistant - Polycarbonate is highly resistant to sunlight, rain and snow; making it perfect for outdoor applications
- Cost Effective - Polycarbonate is an affordable material that provides a lot of value due to its versatility application
- High UV Protection and low heat transmission
- Lightweight - Polycarbonate is relatively lightweight when compared to glass and other plastic materials making it easier for transportation and installation
- Flame retardant and self extinguishing
Due to these properties, the versatility of polycarbonate plastic is truly unparalleled with many uses across a range of commercial applications and industries, especially for polycarbonate for Signs, PPE (visors), Windows in Correctional facilities, Mass Transport among others.
Some of the other more common applications of Polycarbonates include:
- Diffusers and light pipes for LEDs *
- 3D printed models for high heat applications *
- Media discs, including Blu rays, DVDs and CDs *
- Medical equipment (cameras, lenses, medical aids etc.) *
- Phone and computer cases *
- Machinery guards
- Small vehicle windshields
- Protective eye-wear including safety goggles for factory workers and face shields or headgear
- Pylon Signs and direction Signs
- Security window, Prisons, Detention centres, Armoured cars, Banks
- Mass transit
* denotes injection moulding
Polycarbonate is most effective when turned into polycarbonate sheets and as such, Polycarbonate sheets have replaced glass and acrylic in a number of various commercial applications. One of the main reasons for this is that these sheets are durable enough for most uses while being resistant against breakage and cracks making this plastic great if you need something that won't easily fall apart during use.
You will often see Polycarbonate sheets being used for doors and windows (oftentimes instead of glass). They are also used in showers, swimming pool enclosures, balconies, patios, desks, greenhouses, sports stadiums, rail station carports and office buildings. Due to these sheets being extremely weather resistant, they are often used as roofing in areas that are prone to hail, rain, snow and heat as a safer roofing alternative.
Polycarbonate roofing is becoming increasingly popular amongst construction companies, builders and DIY home renovations with many of the properties that make polycarbonate so useful making the material extremely appealing to be used for roofing. Whether it be for pergolas, decking areas and skylights, polycarbonate roofing has many benefits.
Polycarbonate roofing can block up to 100% of harmful UV rays, while allowing 90% of natural light to enter the structure. This provides a lot of natural lighting for residential or commercial properties, which can save on energy bills.
Polycarbonate Plastic Products by Mulford Plastics
Mulford Plastics has a long history of collaborating with leading manufacturers to provide innovative materials that are now being used in numerous industries throughout the Asia Pacific Region including a diverse range of Polycarbonate plastic products include;
- Zenolex UV2 Polycarbonate: Exclusively distributed, Zenolex UV resistant polycarbonate sheets offer exceptional weatherability and impact strength, making it the ideal choice for flat or moulded applications where extended service life and resistance to colour shift is required.
- LEXAN™ XL10 Polycarbonate: Exclusively distributed, LEXAN™ XL10 UV resistant polycarbonate sheets offer exceptional weatherability and impact strength, making it the ideal choice for flat or moulded applications where extended service life and resistance to colour shift is required
- LEXAN MARGARD™ - In addition to the inherent characteristics of a polycarbonate material, LEXAN MARGARD™ has a proprietary hard surface coating, on one or two sides, which provides a high level of resistance to abrasion, chemical resistance and weathering. Depending on the product, they are backed by a 10 Year Limited Warranty against loss of light transmission as well as coating failure and breakage.
- Lexgard® Laminated Polycarbonate - With the unique multilayer system construction of polycarbonate or polycarbonate/acrylic, Lexgard® sheets are used for glazing systems in retail, financial institutions, government buildings and correction facilities and are designed to meet different levels of ballistic and blast protection.
- Zenolex GP Polycarbonate: Distributed exclusively by Mulford Plastics, Zenolex GP Polycarbonate combines excellent impact resistance and stiffness - perfect for interior applications demanding the performance requirements that Zenolex GP Polycarbonate offers.
- Lexan 9034 GP Polycarbonate: Distributed exclusively by Mulford Plastics, Lexan 9034 GP Polycarbonate combines excellent impact resistance and stiffness for interior applications.
Polycarbonate panels are versatile with an excellent combination of toughness, transparency, heat and flame resistance and dimensional stability. If you need polycarbonate sheets in your next project, be sure to contact Mulford Plastics. We supply premium quality polycarbonate plastic products in Australia and abroad for commercial purposes.
Your Polycarbonate Solutions
Mulford Plastics is the number one destination for all your Polycarbonate needs and solutions with a wide range of products for almost any use. Contact us today to learn more about the Mulford range of Polycarbonate solutions.