How do you recognize Polycarbonate? Polycarbonate
There are many details for a trained eye that separate Polycarbonate from other plastic materials. The simplest way is by the blue-purple glow on the edge of the material which is unique to Polycarbonate, and materials like acrylic and PETG don’t have.
At a more technical level, you can identify Polycarbonate through its heating properties - it’s self-extinguishing whereas acrylic/plexiglass is not.
At a mechanical level, Polycarbonate is virtually indestructible so you can carry a fun science experience and drop Polycarbonate panels with the tip on a stone or concrete - if it does not shatter, it is most likely Polycarbonate.
Is Polycarbonate the same as Plexiglass? Polycarbonate
No, they are not. Plexiglass is a brand name that is interchangeably used with Acrylic and therefore, a completely different material from Polycarbonate. When compared, Polycarbonate is stronger and less impact resistant.
Polycarbonate vs Lexan Polycarbonate
Many people don’t realize this, but Lexan® is a brand name of SABIC plastics (a plastic manufacturer) for polycarbonate. Being the most popular brand of Polycarbonate, it is often used interchangeably when referring to Polycarbonate sheets. We do offer alternatives from this brand.
Can you use Polycarbonate outside? Polycarbonate
Yes, Polycarbonate sheets can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications - it retains transparency after years of weather extremes such as exposure to sun and wind. The non-UV-resistant quality will turn yellow when used outdoors as a result of UV radiation, so our experts at ShapesPlastics recommend a UV-resistant polycarbonate sheet.
What is Polycarbonate used for? Polycarbonate
There are a variety of industries that use this material for both indoor and outdoor applications. These include aerospace; armored vehicle; automotive; building & construction; bullet/blast/wind resistant security windows, doors, enclosures and glazing; golf cart windshields; greenhouses; heavy equipment; machine guards; milling and mining; movie studio/sound stage; POP/display; recreational vehicles; skylights; thermoformers; transit shelters; watercraft; and window glazing.
Is Polycarbonate flammable? Polycarbonate
The short answer is yes, but it’s also self-extinguishing. Simply said, you would need a different fuel / heat to keep a fire going. This is an important distinction for specific applications, such as public transportation and aviation.
Is Polycarbonate poisonous? Polycarbonate
If Polycarbonate is heated/burning, the fumes from the fire are toxic. However, in its natural state, it is not poisonous but doesn’t have any food grade certification either.
How expensive is Polycarbonate? Polycarbonate
Compared to plastic sheets such as acrylic/plexiglass, Polycarbonate is slightly more expensive. On average, 30% more expensive than extruded acrylic and 15% more expensive than cast acrylic. However, it is important to note that Polycarbonate like any other product prices fluctuate based on demand and supply at a global level. The price is also dependent on variables such as size, thickness, features, and quantity.
At ShapesPlastics, our long-standing partnership with quality manufacturers allows us to provide you with the best prices. We also offer a tiered pricing model that will allow you to save even more!
Custom Order Polycarbonate Polycarbonate
ShapesPlastics is your go-to for your Polycarbonate needs. We offer a variety of Polycarbonate sheets in many popular brands and different thicknesses and grades. We are backed by the industry's most knowledgeable sales team, have extensive experience, and can, with sufficient information, make a good estimate of the thickness to be used. If you need a larger sheet, request a free quote via the contact page.