Things you should know about Polycarbonate Sheet, Sheets and Panels

A common misconception is that ‘all polycarbonate sheets are the same’. This is not true, as a matter of fact, it is far from a fact. While most manufacturers of polycarbonate sheets start with a similar base resin, this is where the similarities normally stop. Most polycarbonate sheet extruders run a base material far different from what the standard has been for the last 30 years. Most polycarbonate sheet is now made without the flame rating it had in the past. Polycarbonate Sheets are sometimes called ‘polycarbonate panels’ or ‘polycarbonate plates’, they are still made from the same high quality resins. One of the best known manufacturers of Polycarbonate resins and sheets is Sabic Polymers®, the manufacturers of Lexan® resin and Lexan® Sheet products. Over the last several years, Sabic has quietly discontinued the UL ratings on their Polycarbonate.

Industrial Plastic Supply And Makrolon GPBayer MaterialScience now Covestro

For more than 30 years, Industrial Plastic Supply has relied on the high quality Polycarbonate Sheets produced by Sheffield, now part of Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience). Covestro produces a crystal clear, ultra high impact strength resin, this Makrolon resin is the finest in the industry. Covestro has also chosen to continue to produce this high quality material with the UL 94 V-0 rating, the only supplier to continue this expensive, but extremely valuable service. Take a moment and look at your requirements, see if perhaps somewhere on the blue print is a note that states your polycarbonate material needs to be UL 94 V-0 approved or rated. If so, Makrolon GP is your only and best choice!

How is Covestro Makrolon Polycarbonate available

We stock Covestro (Bayer MaterialScience) Makrolon GP in flat panels, considered Polycarbonate Sheet or as Polycarbonate Sheets. We can cut theses sheet Polycarbonate materials to strip or strips, blocks, or just a cut to size piece. At Industrial Plastic Supply we have stocked large quantities of these materials, and continue to keep Makrolon GP and Makrolon FI sheets in stock. With a wide range of thicknesses ( .030″ – .500″ thick) and sheet sizes of 48″ X 96″, 60″ X 60″ and 72″ X 96″ as standard in .118″ – .500″, we can fill all your requirements.Covestro (Bayer) Makrolon GP Polycarbonate Sheets formed into Riot Shields

Why you should use Makrolon Polycarbonate Sheet

Superior clarity, quality, surface finish, flame retardant and full USA factory technical assistance are just a few reasons. Buying polycarbonate sheets imported from somewhere half way around the globe, from an unknown manufacturer with little or no technical support can be very risky. Covestro/Sheffield manufacturers this premium quality polycarbonate sheet right here in the good old USA, in Sheffield, Massachusetts. They produce this crystal clear sheet on the latest and most technologically advanced extruders available, and have several warehouses for us to get material quickly for you. Why settle for an unknown? Can you afford to ‘try’ the other guys? Step up to the finest quality, and yet still competitively priced polycarbonate sheet, get Covestro Makrolon GP Polycarbonate Sheet for your next project. Industrial Plastic Supply also carries the Westlake Zelux M Polycarbonate Sheet and Zelux W Polycarbonate Plate. The Zelux M is a machine grade Polycarbonate Plate from .375″ – 4″ thick sheet, and the Zelux W is a clear – Window Grade thick Polycarbonate Plate in the same thickness range. Contact us for more information on this thicker material. We also supply other manufacturers grades of Polycarbonate Plate, including, but not limited to: Ensinger Plastics, Nytef Plastics, Rochling Plastics and more.Machined Polycarbonate Block made from Zelux M Contact us for more information or technical assistance on Polycarbonate or any other quality plastic sheet, rod or tube. Call us at 866-832-9315 or send us a quick note here. Google+



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What is the Strongest Plastic – Polycarbonate Sheet?

Many plastics are durable and have good impact strength. Delrin® – Acetal for example is a very durable and strong material, but compared to some other materials the impact strength is lower. The Acetal – Delrin is the best machining plastic around, it is used to make long lasting and good wearing parts for machines. Another great plastic that holds up to wear and tear is UHMW. With its high molecular weight and low friction resistance is ideal to take abuse over long periods of time.

However, one of the strongest materials in the plastic family is Polycarbonate. Commonly Polycarbonate Sheet or Sheets formed into Riot Shieldsreferred to Lexan® (SABIC) or Makrolon® (Bayer) Polycarbonate Sheets. Polycarbonate is by far one of the strongest (highest impact resistant) ­­­­­plastic materials, and is warranted against breakage. With its high impact strength, it is ideal for jobs were the ability to absorb abuse is a factor and in some cases may even need to save lives. A common material for high impact is Polycarbonate Sheet and Plate, but amazingly also Polycarbonate Rod.

Polycarbonate Sheets considered ‘unbreakable’.

Polycarbonate sheet is a valuable plastic due to its impact strength, temperature resistance and wide range of uses. It is commonly confused with Acrylic or Plexiglass which has similar properties but Polycarbonate is 25 times stronger and has a wider temperature range. Acrylic is better used for display purposes and is a brittle material. Polycarbonate is so strong that you can drill or hammer a nail right through it without breaking the material. It also can undergo large deformations without breaking while Acrylic cannot. Polycarbonate also can be used for electrical applications because it is a great insulator. It also has great safety properties due to it being flame retardant and because it has good heat resistance. Another way Polycarbonate exhibits its safety properties is through bullet resistant glass. Polycarbonate is the most commonly used material for bullet resistant glass, riot shields and face masks. In these situations, the Polycarbonate has a very high impact strength which is invaluable. It protects and saves lives and is able to stand up to abuse in dangerous situations.Polycarbonate Eye Protection Goggles

Polycarbonate Has Many Uses

From audio CDs to Blu-ray discs, airplane canopies to protective eye gear, Polycarbonate is a great thermoplastic (a material that can be formed and returned to its original shape) material for many different applications. Because of its impact strength and wide range of uses, Polycarbonate makes an ideal material for those who need peace of mind when designing or fabricating and need it to hold up to abuse and be virtually unbreakable. Polycarbonate is one of the toughest plastic materials around and everyday new products are being made from it. Whether using it for electrical, optical or for its impact properties, Polycarbonate is an ideal choice for many plastic needs.

Polycarbonate sheet (Makrolon) is available from .032″ – .500″ thick

Polycarbonate Plate, Slab, Block is available up to 4.0″ thick

Polycarbonate Rods are available from .250″ – over 8″ diameter.

More information on the UL approval ratings of Polycarbonate Sheets Here.

Not all Polycarbonate Sheet or Plate meet all approval ratings. Zelux Polycarbonate Plate is available in a machine grade and an optical grade. Zelux Polycarbonate Rod is also available – as a machine grade rod – not optical.

Typical Polycarbonate Resin Properties:

General Property ASTM Test Typical Value
Specific Gravity D792 1.2
Tensile Strength Yield D638 8,900 – 9,000
Tensile Modulus D638 340,000
Izod Impact – Notched D256 12.0-16.0
Hardness – Rockwell D785 M70
Deflection Temp @ 264psi D648 270
Deflection Temp @ 66 psi D648 280
Co. Thermal Expansion D696 3.7X10-5

 

We stock a large variety of thickness and sheet sizes in Makrolon GP sheet. For more information on this or other plastic sheets, please call us at 866-832-9315 or click here to contact us.

Author: Google+ – Hayden Hess G+

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Topic: Polycarbonate Sheet and Plate



Bayer Plastics Makrolon Polycarbonate – Still UL approved?

The world of polycarbonate sheet has changed and evolved over the last several years. Most manufacturers have changed their formulation, and most new formulations no longer meet the tough UL  certification ratings for flammability. Many manufacturers now do not rate their materials on the UL 94 series tests at all. Most suppliers don’t even meet the rating of UL 94 HB (which means it will burn horizontally!). The UL 94 V-0 means that when tested, the material did not burn vertically and was self extinguishing. In other words, it does not burn, puts itself out and will not add to the combustion. Bayer Material Science, formerly known as Sheffield Plastics,  still certifies their materials to this high rating, and have a range of materials that can meet your requirements.

Bayer Material Science produces standard General Purpose Polycarbonate as Makrolon® GP, which meets the UL 94 HB rating. The next grade is their Makrolon® GP-V which carries the UL 94 V-0 at .210″ and thicker. They also have a superior grade called Makrolon® FI, and it meets the UL 94 V-0 at  the thickness of .060″ and an amazing UL 5VA at .118″ and thicker.

UL 94 V-0 approval for PolycarbonateBayer Material Sciences Makrolon Polycarbonate Sheets

Since the beginning of Polycarbonate, originally invented by General Electric Plastics, the most common trade name has been Lexan®. Today, the Lexan® trade name is owned and produced by Sabic Polymers (they purchased all of G.E. Plastics). Sabic is one of the best resin manufacturers in the world, and many of their resins are used to make products we supply (ie: Noryl® and Ultem®). The second largest – well known manufacturer of polycarbonate resins has been Bayer (yes, the company that makes your aspirin), and several years ago they purchased Sheffield Plastics. Sheffield has been a world leader in the manufacturing of Makrolon® Polycarbonate sheet and sheet. Now under the Bayer umbrella, this material is now the best rated polycarbonate sheet in the market.

Makrolon Polycarbonate Sheets Take A Beating

Hitting Polycarbonate Sheet with hammerBoth of these polycarbonate sheets are very high impact (considered unbreakable), and are exceedingly transparent, has the look of transparent glass. As one of the only clear plastic materials that is high impact, polycarbonate in glazing applications are very tough, and can take numerous hammer blows without cracking or breaking. Also, one of the distinct differences between these materials is the UL rating. Here is a copy of the current (May 2013) data sheets for these two brands of material – Bayer Makrolon®_GP, Makrolon® GP-V, Makrolon® FI and Sabic Lexan® 9034. Review these pages, with extra focus on the ‘Flammability’ ratings of these materials. You will see that Sabic does not list the UL 94 specification (the USA standard for flammability) at all,  and that the Bayer – Sheffield material does meet the UL certification in a variety of materials. While this just one rating, it  should not be the only factor when considering a polycarbonate purchase, it is important if your project needs a flammability rating. Both manufacturers produce very high quality sheet, and without the masking you can’t see a difference. 

Let us know if we can assist you with your Polycarbonate Sheets or an individual Sheet requirement. Email us or call us at: 866-832-9315

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