Polycarbonate| PC

Polycarbonate, PC

Polycarbonate, PC is a special type of polyester used as an engineering plastic owing to its exceptional impact resistance, tensile strength, ductility, dimensional stability, and optical clarity. Polycarbonate, PC is a clear, colorless polymer used extensively for engineering and optical applications. Polycarbonate, PC is a tough, transparent synthetic resin used in safety glass, eyeglass lenses, and compact discs, among other applications.

Polycarbonate (PC) plastics are a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic. Although they are made commercially available in a variety of colors the raw material allows for the internal transmission of light nearly in the same capacity as glass. Polycarbonate polymers are used to produce a variety of materials and are particularly useful when impact resistance and transparency are a product requirement, same as in bullet-proof glass.

Polycarbonate, PC is available commercially in both pellet and sheet form. Outstanding properties include impact strength and scratch resistance. The most serious deficiencies are poor weather ability and chemical resistance.

Application for Polycarbonate, PC

Polycarbonate, PC remains one of the fastest growing engineering plastics as new applications are defined; global demand for PC exceeds 1.5 million tons.

In recent years Polycarbonate have become increasingly commercially important. PC is widely used in blends due to its excellent compatibility with a range of polymers. Typical blends include rubber modified Polycarbonate, PC, improving impact properties, PC/PBT blends, which allow toughness to be retained at lower temperatures and having improved fuel and weather resistance. Amongst the most significant are those incorporating ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).

Electrical & Electronics: Polycarbonate, PC is in the optical media market

Automotive: which allows automakers to produce lighter, stronger, and more durable components.

General Industries / Packaging: power tools, baby bottle, water dispensers, garden equipment, furniture, sporting goods, medical applications.

Constraints to the use of Polycarbonate, PC include limited chemical and scratch resistance and its tendency to yellow upon long term exposure to UV light. However these constraints can be readily overcome by adding the right additives to the compound or processing through a co-extrusion process.

Physical and chemical properties Polycarbonate, PC

Polycarbonate, PC is strong, stiff, hard, tough, transparent engineering thermoplastics that can maintain rigidity up to 140°C and toughness down to -20°C or special grades even lower. Polycarbonate, PC is amorphous, is thermally resistant up to 135°C and rated as slow burning.

Technical Name

Polycarbonate (PC)

Chemical Formula


Melt Temperature

288-316 °C (550-600 °F)

Typical Mold Temperature

82 - 121 °C (180 - 250 °F)

Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)

140 °C (284 °F) at 0.46 MPa (66 PSI)

Tensile Strength

59 MPa (8500 PSI) ***

Flexural Strength

93 MPa (13500 PSI) ***

Specific Gravity


Shrink Rate

0.6 - 0.9 % (.006 - .009 in/in) ***

 Resistance to chemicals for Polycarbonate, PC

Dilute Acid, Aliphatic Hydrocarbons, Alcohols is good. Oils and Greases is moderate and Dilute Alkalis,

Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Halogenated Hydrocarbons is poor. The resistance against specific substances are dependent on temperature, applied stresses, exposure time etc.

Why is Polycarbonate, PC used?

Polycarbonate is an incredibly useful plastic for applications requiring transparency and high impact resistance. It is a lighter alternative to glass and a natural UV filter, so it is often used in eyewear. At Creative Mechanisms, we have used polycarbonate in a number of applications across a range of industries.

Disadvantages of Polycarbonate, PC

Although Polycarbonate, PC is known for its high impact resistance, it is very susceptible to scratching. For this reason, clear surfaces such as a polycarbonate lenses in a pair of glasses will typically be coated with a scratch-resistant layer for protection. 

How is Polycarbonate, PC made?

Polycarbonate, like other plastics, starts with the distillation of hydrocarbon fuels into lighter groups called “fractions” some of which are combined with other catalysts to produce plastics.(typically via polymerization or polycondensation)

Storage of Polycarbonate, PC

Max 200°F (93°C) material should be stored in a clean, dry environment in sealed containers. Material must be dried before processing.When handling flaked material or during secondary operations, vent storage bins, conveyors, dust collectors, etc. ground handling equipment, keep open flames, sparks and heat away from dusty areas.

Polycarbonate, PC in ShinaDT

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