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Five important polycarbonate properties

Polycarbonate is marketed under many different names: Arla, Caliber, Margard. Makrolon, Lexan and Panlite are amongst the most well-known. But what is polycarbonate exactly and what are the properties of this plastic sheet material? In this blog, we’re going to focus on the most important polycarbonate mechanical properties.

Polycarbonate: what is it?

The quick answer is that polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer, meaning that it is resistant to high temperatures. Thanks to this property, polycarbonate is widely used in the food industry, among others.

Tip: To find out more about the history of this material, view our blog about polycarbonate.

1. Polycarbonate is very strong: 250 times as strong as glass

One of the most important polycarbonate material properties is that the sheets are very impact-resistant. Whether you use the solid type or channel plates does not affect this characteristic. This means that polycarbonate is a very versatile material that can be used for many applications such as windshields, carports, or greenhouses. The material is almost unbreakable so is ideal for situations where vandalism or burglary are likely.

2. Polycarbonate is easy to process

You can process polycarbonate in numerous ways; it’s easy to glue, paint, saw, drill, or bend under heat in the same way as acrylic sheet or plexiglass. The main difference is that because polycarbonate is much less likely to break, it’s much easier to work with.

Tip: If you’re going to machine polycarbonate yourself, take a look at our DIY blogs on polishing, cutting, drilling and routing polycarbonate sheet as the approach is the same.

3. Polycarbonate is a fire-retardant material

Polycarbonate has a B1 classification meaning that it is difficult to ignite and has a fire-retardant effect. This makes polycarbonate a very suitable material to use as safety glazing, or example, to protect technical machinery and products.

4. Polycarbonate will not discolor

All the polycarbonate sheets in our range are UV-resistant; in other words, the color of polycarbonate sheets will not change under the influence of sunlight. UV-resistant polycarbonate sheets can be used for both indoor and outside applications.

5. Polycarbonate is crystal clear

Polycarbonate or glass? Whatever the other considerations, one thing is clear; you can see through polycarbonate just as well as standard glass. In fact, polycarbonate actually lets more light through than traditional glass.

Buy polycarbonate sheets online

The first step on getting started on your project is to order the polycarbonate sheet. You’ll find polycarbonate sheets in a range of thicknesses at out website at and we’ll cut them to size for free.

More ideas and inspiration for using polycarbonate

View our blog for fun DIY projects with polycarbonate. If you have any questions about a project or any of the products in our range, please contact us.

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