Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that contains carbonate groups in its chemical structure. Thus, it is stronger and more durable than most plastics. Also, it has the unique and helpful trait of being transparent. The most popular and prolific manufacturer of polycarbonate materials is LEXAN® – and Product Components Corporation is proud to offer their vast array of items.
Because of its relatively uncommon resistance to heat and flame, Polycarbonate is often used in electrical systems and other environment prone to extremely high temperatures. You will find more Polycarbonate tubing and sheeting in these often volatile systems, but you can also find Polycarbonate screws in decreased temperature applications, such as telecommunications hardware, computers and other electronic equipment.
In addition to its heat resistance, Polycarbonate is also lightweight, and therefore it is a very popular material in the auto industry. Its smoothness and transparency make it an ideal choice for reflective surfaces on cars, as well as headlamp covers.
Beyond the more high profile usage in electrical, electronic and automotive instances, Polycarbonates will also pop up in places you wouldn’t expect or even think about — such as the protective barrier in your local bank or convenience store; in the water bottle you just bought (because Polycarbonates can be made without harmful Bisphenol A [a/k/a BPA]); and even in the eyeglasses you might be wearing! Lockheed Martin even trusts this material enough to make the cockpit canopy for its F-22 Raptor fighter jet out of it – in one huge, single, molded piece!
Despite all of its positive qualities, there are limited drawbacks to Polycarbonate. The most pertinent one is that the material expands and contracts with extreme temperature changes. Therefore, be sure to use screws (in pre-drilled holes) with this material in sheets, rather than nails. Conversely, when using a Polycarbonate screw, make sure the application doesn’t involve temperatures above 212º Farenheit.
Other than those narrow circumstances, Polycarbonate is always a good choice for a wide range of applications. To learn more about this material, please call Mary at Product Components Corporation at (800) 336-0406.