Polycarbonate Films

Properties

Polycarbonate (PC) is an amorphous, crystal clear high performance engineering thermoplastic which has excellent mechanical, optical, and electrical properties. For example, it has high heat resistance, very high toughness and elasticity over a wide temperature range, and good electrical insulation properties, as well as good weathering,  and chemical resistance.

Because of its higher price relative to PVC, PE, and PP film, it is generally considered a specialty film.

Films made from PC are of high optical clarity and have excellent puncture resistance but have low scratch and abrasion resistance. Thus, for more demanding applications PC films have to be coated with a scratch-resistant layer for protection.

PC films allow for top-quality printing with standard inks using standard screen printing processes.

Unlike many other thermoplastics, polycarbonate can undergo large plastic deformations without cracking or breaking. Thus, it can not only be thermoformed but also processed and formed at room or slightly elevated temperatures using standard forming equipment.

 

Manufacturers

Polycarbonate is available as a transparent, translucent and opaque film. Major manufacturers and distributors include Tekra (Lexan), Covestro (Makrofol), and Sabic (Lexan).

 

Applications

Because of polycarbonate's outstanding optical clarity, good performance properties, printability, and ease of processing, PC films are used for a wide variety of applications. It is generally a good choice for high quality film products such as ID and security cards, graphic film products, reflective panels, LED/LCD display windows, and automotive dashboard and interior applications. PC film is also a good choice for high quality (thermoformed) packaging. For example, PC films are used for sterile medical packaging that require FDA approval as well as high puncture, chemical, and UV resistance.

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