What is polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer and is a sturdy, hard and transparent material. The most important property of polycarbonate is its enormous impact resistance. Polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than glass and this is why polycarbonate is often used as safety glazing.

Crystal clear and extremely strong

Polycarbonate was discovered in around 1900 by a German chemist, Alfred Einhorn. He researched the material for more than three decades but could not find a commercial application for it. In 1953, that changed and Bayer and General Electric started production of polycarbonate. The plastic was mainly used as a replacement for glass, albeit in small areas. The reason for this was that polycarbonate had a brown tint: it was not until 1970 that polycarbonate was made crystal clear. Polycarbonate quickly made a name for itself as safety glass and is used in protective goggles, machine guards, headlights for cars and even in the cockpits for jet fighters.

The material is available in polycarbonate opal, crystal clear and tinted. The sheets are supplied with a protective film on both sides to provide protection when processing the material. If necessary, the sheets can also be given an extra scratch-resistant coating, which also protects against chemicals and ensures that graffiti is easy to remove. The polycarbonate sheets we offer are all UV-resistant, making them suitable for exterior applications. Think of making a greenhouse of polycarbonate, replacing boat windows or creating a patio cover. Non-UV-resistant sheets used for exterior applications will yellow after 2 to 3 years.

Easy to cut and maintain

The outer properties of polycarbonate are very similar to those of acrylic sheet, but as well as its strength, polycarbonate has other important advantages. Due to the strength of polycarbonate, the material is also much easier to machine, for example, by drilling and sawing. Polycarbonate can also be worked cold without any tearing on the fold line. You can also easily process polycarbonate by following the tips in our blogs about acrylic sheet. The maintenance of polycarbonate is simple: we recommend that polycarbonate is maintained regularly (annually) with Burnus Antistatic Cleaner. Unfortunately, polycarbonate is somewhat more scratch-sensitive than normal glass but if you get scratches in your polycarbonate, you can easily polish it. You will find valuable tips and tricks on how to do this in our blog about polycarbonate polishing.