First produced by German chemists in the 1950s, polycarbonate plastics (or “PC”) are synthetic, amorphous thermoplastics known for their strength, durability, and flexibility and are among the most commonly used engineering thermoplastics in the world. Similar to acrylic plastic, transparent polycarbonate plastic is typically used as a lighter and stronger alternative to glass panels. However, polycarbonate plastic is much stronger than acrylic (around 30 times stronger, in fact) which makes it significantly more resistant to impacts and weathering compared to acrylic plastic.
Like all thermoplastics, polycarbonate plastic becomes liquid at its melting point (around 155o C) which makes it ideal for vacuum or injection molding processes and recycling. And because it is far more pliable and resilient compared to other plastics, polycarbonates can be formed at room temperature (i.e. without applied heat) without breaking–a significant benefit for polycarbonate fabricating and polycarbonate machining. This also makes it easy to drill or screw into without having to worry about cracking or shattering. Because it is so strong and essentially crackproof and shatterproof, polycarbonate fabrication is used in the production of highly durable products such as cell phone cases, eyeglass lenses, safety helmets, and even bullet-resistant “glass”.
Regarding JC Finley polycarbonate distribution and sales, polycarbonate plastic is typically sold in large sheets of varying thicknesses, colors, and clarities. It is also produced and sold in the shapes of rods or tubes. It is available in various grades depending on the polycarbonate fabrication application in which it will be used (flame resistant, food safe, anti-static, etc.).