What is Polycarbonate Made Of?
If you didn’t know already, polycarbonate is an ultra-strong plastic polymer used in situations when extreme impact strength and transparency are key, is a key component in the DefenseLite® system.
Polycarbonate can transmit over 90% of light while still blocking a large portion of UV radiation which means it allows for nearly the same level of light transmission as glass but protects people and furnishings from damaging UV rays. Polycarbonate panels are available in a wide range of tints and thicknesses, making them very customizable depending on the situation.
Polycarbonate plastic is approximately 250 times stronger than glass, yet significantly lighter in weight. This means that it provides high impact resistance, offers a superior level of abrasion resistance, is durable and resistant to cracking or breaking, but is still easy to transport.
What is polycarbonate material made of?
Polycarbonate is in the polyester family of plastics and comes in many varieties which means that there are multiple manufacturing processes to create polycarbonate. Like many plastics, it is created from a chemical reaction. The most commonly made polycarbonates are manufactured by combining bisphenol-A (BPA) with carbonyl chloride or diphenyl carbonate.
Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic which means that it can be melted and shaped at high temperatures and will harden as it cools. It also means that this process can be repeated over and over and the plastic can be recast almost indefinitely.
DefenseLite’s proprietary polycarbonate sheets are manufactured in the United States. We guarantee that our customers enjoy the most optically clear, black spec-free, low-distortion, UV capped sheets available anywhere in the world.
What is polycarbonate glass?
Since polycarbonate panels like DefenseLite are often referred to as “security glass” it’s understandable why some people may think that polycarbonate is glass. However, polycarbonate is not glass, but actually a very thick and strong plastic.
In safety and security practices, polycarbonate is used because it is much stronger than glass and nearly unbreakable. This can protect those inside from both criminals who may be trying to enter a property and from other dangerous situations like bomb blasts. Polycarbonate also allows for the application of window film, like anti-graffiti film, to increase the protection and value of the window itself. Polycarbonate plastics are also weather resistant.
What is polycarbonate used for?
Since polycarbonate has such a long list of benefits, from its strength and UV resistance to its thermal rejection, it is ideal for a variety of purposes. Most likely, you use something in your daily life that is a polycarbonate product. For example, flame retardant polycarbonate plastics are often used in electrical applications.
Here are some of the most common uses of polycarbonate:
- Plastic lenses in eyewear
- Safety helmets
- Bullet proof “glass”
- Exterior light fixtures
- DVDs & Blu-Rays
- Security Shields
- Medical Devices
- Windshields in motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, etc.
As you can see, polycarbonate is an incredibly practical plastic with a variety of benefits for many different uses. For example, DefenseLite polycarbonate shields can reduce street noise by up to 40% and improve the energy efficiency of your existing glass by over 50%. It will also defeat most attacks while protecting the primary glass from breaking.
Hopefully, this has helped answer your question of “what is polycarbonate?” If you have any more questions about DefenseLite or our manufacturing process, don’t hesitate to contact us.