Simply put, polycarbonates are engineering thermoplastics that are strong, stiff, hard, tough, transparent, moldable, durable, and lightweight. Polycarbonate is one of the most extensively utilized engineering thermoplastics because of this. Polycarbonate plastic was first discovered in 1898 by a German scientist named Alfred Einhorn at the University of Munich. It wasn’t commercialized until the 1950s, and instead of being glass transparent, it had a brownish hue until 1970. According to a global estimate by marketsandmarkets.com, the polycarbonate sheets market was worth USD 1.61 billion in 2017 and is expected to increase at a compound yearly growth rate of 4.5 percent to USD 2.11 billion by 2023. This is due in part to polycarbonate roofing becoming more popular, replacing glass, acrylic, and other comparable materials due to its ease of installation, durability, safe light transmission, good insulation, aesthetic appeal, and variety of colors.
How is polycarbonate made?
According to the British Plastics Federation (BPF), polycarbonate has been most typically made by reacting bisphenol A with carbonyl chloride in an interfacial process. Under acidic circumstances, Bisphenol A is made by condensation of phenol with acetone. The covalent connections that exist between all of these components give polycarbonate goods their structural strength. Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that belongs to the polyester family. Depending on the use and manufacturing method, polycarbonate comes in a variety of grades. We employ these distinct grades in a variety of our products. Polycarbonates can be extruded into a variety of profiles with uniform cross-sections or continuous lengths. Roofing materials can be made from such materials. In most cases, this process can be called a solid sheet, a multiwall sheet, or a profile extrusion.
What are the characteristics of polycarbonate?
Polycarbonates can keep their rigidity and toughness at temperatures as low as -20°C, or even lower with specific grades. Because the material is amorphous, it has good mechanical properties and dimensional stability. It’s thermally resistant up to 135 °C and slow-burning, and there are specific flame retardant grades that pass a series of rigorous flammability tests.
Polycarbonate has a tensile strength that is 250 times that of glass. Polycarbonate doesn’t have to be transparent; it may be tinted and colored, or even made to reflect like a glass mirror, making it ideal for hazardous conditions thanks to its high impact strength (up to 250 times that of glass!). Polycarbonate can even be rendered bulletproof and is known as “bulletproof glass” in this situation. One of the disadvantages of polycarbonate is that it is more prone to scratching than glass.
However, abrasion-resistant polycarbonate forms have been specifically developed to address this issue and provide polycarbonate with high abrasion resistance. Some polycarbonate is made anti-static by coating it with a metal and plastic mixture that prevents static electricity generation while also providing high chemical resistance. Polycarbonate is completely recyclable, and it produces a high yield for plastic recycling plants.
Sorting, shredding, washing, granulating, and then compounding polycarbonate for re-use is the standard process. This is because, according to Creative Mechanisms, thermoplastic materials become liquid at their melting point, may then be chilled and reheated without considerable degradation, and can thus be easily injection molded and recycled. Unlike thermoplastics, which can only be heated once, thermoset plastics can be heated multiple times. It would simply burn if you tried to heat them again.
What is polycarbonate sheeting?
Among the many different types of polycarbonate sheets are those made by injection molding, structural foam molding, extruding, vacuum forming, and blow molding, all of which make up polycarbonate sheeting.
What are the many varieties of polycarbonate roofing sheeting?
Polycarbonate sheeting is available in twin-wall, multiwall, solid, and corrugated sheets for use in construction, specifically roofing. The most common polycarbonate sheets are twin wall and multiwall polycarbonate sheets, which are commonly used for conservatories and lean-to roofs. Conservatories, canopies, vertical glazing, displays, roof lighting, signage, pathways, swimming pool coverings, insulation, and other applications are all possible with this material. Solid polycarbonate sheets are thick and almost unbreakable, resulting in a solid and virtually unbreakable roofing structure. Protective screens, vertical glazing, bus shelters, windows, doors, train windows, and riot shields are all good candidates. Solid polycarbonate sheets have the clarity of glass and are UV protected on both sides, making them perfect for skylights, helmets, security glazing, balustrades, balconies, and other applications. Corrugated polycarbonate sheets can be twisted or folded into any shape you choose, and they can be piled on top of other sheets to make fitting the roofing sheets easier. Conservatories, signage, roofing, glazing, DIY, swimming pools, greenhouses, and more can all benefit from these.
Abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, strength and impact resistance, UV resistance, heat and ignitability resistance, workability, transparency, and recycling are all advantages of polycarbonate sheeting. The different layers that make up multiwall polycarbonate sheeting are good at insulating against both heat and noise.