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What Is Polycarbonate?

What Is Polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a synthetic material that is chemically constructed to mimic the properties of naturally occurring plant resins. This synthetic resin is a thermoplastic polymer that is infinitely moldable and shapeable when heat is applied, and it is capable of being repeatedly heated, shaped, cooled, and hardened, making it a popular material for molds and films. Polycarbonate provides manufacturers with countless possibilities for form and shape. It also offers end users the option to alter the material through thermoforming and in some cases cold forming to suit individual purposes. Cold forming is the process of shaping polycarbonate material at or near room temperature.

Polycarbonate is probably most widely known for its use in eyeglass lenses; however, polycarbonate has many other applications, including its use in the manufacture of multiwall and solid polycarbonate sheets. These sheets are most commonly used for architectural elements such as roofing and glazing and are also used to construct entire structures such as greenhouses and pool enclosures. The material is popular for these applications because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and extremely durable. Despite sharing similar properties, multiwall and solid polycarbonate sheets each has its own unique characteristics.

Multiwall polycarbonate sheets have multiple walls or layers integrated into the design. The internal construction adds insulating properties while also making the panel more lightweight. The structure also adds an aesthetic element to the panel that is desirable for architectural purposes, specifically as it relates to light transmission. Multiwall polycarbonate is generally transparent and is available in a number of colors and internal structures to create a variety of visual effects. Internal structures come in a number of thicknesses and include 2-wall, 3-wall, X structure, honeycomb, and 4-wall construction. Each type has its own insulating properties and R-values.

Solid polycarbonate sheets do not have internal structures. For this reason, solid polycarbonate is generally heavier than multiwall polycarbonate and it’s also stronger. Solid polycarbonate sheets are typically chosen for applications in which the resulting form or structure must bear significant weight or be extremely durable, such as a roof in a location that will receive a lot of heavy snow or an area that gets heavy storms with high winds and flying debris.

To learn more about multiwall and solid polycarbonate sheets and how they can be used, visit the News section of this website.

For advice on which type of polycarbonate is best for your application, contact Ug Plast at 717-356-2448 or sales@ugplast-inc.com to get connected to a distributor near you.

Interested in becoming a Ug Plast distributor? Ug Plast offers multiwall and solid polycarbonate sheets in a variety of colors and thicknesses, and we can custom cut and ship your order within three to four days of placement. To learn more contact Ug Plast at 717-356-2448 or sales@ugplast-inc.com.

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