Polycarbonate (PC)

Crystal clear and virtually unbreakable

Polycarbonate is a crystal clear plastic with a very high impact resistance, high toughness and a relatively high mechanical load capacity. In addition, polycarbonate is self-extinguishing and the material has good chemical resistance. 

The clear material can be processed easily and is virtually unbreakable, making it ideally suited for strong glazing applications.

Polycarbonate (PC) distinguishes itself from other plastics by its optical purity in combination with a very high impact resistance. Polycarbonate is no less than 250 times stronger than glass of the same thickness.

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Unique features

  • Virtually unbreakable
  • 250 times stronger than glass of equal thickness
  • Can be bent and set when cold
  • Screen printable
  • Weatherproof
  • Vandal resistant


  • Glazing
  • Protective hoods and screens
  • Stand construction
  • Retail interiors and signage
  • Eyewear lenses
  • Exterior lighting
  • Optical media disks (CD, DVD, Blu Ray)

Machining options

  • Drilling
  • Sawing/milling
  • Hot bending
  • Gluing
  • Thermoforming
  • Screen printing
  • Digital printing
  • Cutting/punching
  • Lettering
  • Press offset
  • Lasering
  • Yes
  • Not in all cases
  • No

The main technical properties of Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is by far the most impact-resistant clear plastic. The material is virtually unbreakable and, compared to glass of the same thickness, 250 times stronger.

Polycarbonate is available in standard and UV-stable versions. Furthermore, the material is flame-retardant and relatively light compared to glass. Polycarbonate can be cold set and bent.

How to identify Polycarbonate

Drop a small sample in some water and it will sink. Then set fire to the sample and it will continue to burn slowly and drip. The flame will be orange or yellow with a smell similar to Phenol, producing black smoke with soot.

Polycarbonate by sector

Polycarbonate Building Plastics

Unique combination of hardness, impact resistance, weather resistance and transparency make Polycarbonate particularly suitable for architectural glazing and security.

We supply polycarbonate in a number of different versions: from standard to super scratch-resistant, from structured to flame-resistant and from breakthrough-resistant to bullet-resistant versions. 


  • Safety glazing
  • Burglar-resistant glazing
  • Anti-vandalism glazing
  • Skylight glazing, canopies
  • Bus shelters, outdoor waiting areas
  • Project glazing


Lexan Bouwtoepassing

Polycarbonate Engineering Plastics

Polycarbonate is a fire-resistant and chemically resistant crystal clear plastic with a very high impact resistance, high toughness and a relatively high mechanical load capacity.

The clear material can be easily machined and is virtually unbreakable, making it ideally suited for transparent machine guards and guards.

Polycarbonate sheets can be cold set and are available in many versions including extra UV resistant, anti-static and scratch-resistant. 


  • Customised machine hoods
  • Places that benefit from visual control
  • Vandal-prone places


Lexan TK Toepassing

Polycarbonate Advertising Plastics

Virtually unbreakable polycarbonate sheets offer a solution for the illuminated advertising sector and in places where vandalism is a problem, for example as overglazing. Polycarbonate is also widely used in the stand construction and interior segment, where high demands are made on fire behaviour.


  • Unbreakable overglazing
  • Stand construction
  • Shop interiors
  • Neon signs


What is the difference between Polycarbonate and Acrylic or PETG?

We often get questions about the differences between the three most commonly used transparent plastics, Polycarbonate, PETG and Acrylic. To make the most important differences clear, we have made the table below. If you would like definitive advice on which material is suitable for your application, please contact us.  

 Feature Acrylic PETG Polycarbonate
Transparency/clarity Excellent High High
Weight Low Low Low
Strength 30x stronger than glass 150x stronger than glass 250x stronger than glass
Weather resistance Excellent Good Good
Cold bending Low Average Good
Warm bending Good Good Good
Drilling, sawing, milling Good Good Good
Printable Good Good Good
Available thicknesses 2 to 100mm 0.5 to 12mm 1 to 12mm
Fire class* B2 B1 B1


*tested according to DIN 4102

If fire safety plays a role, we advise you to use a fire-retardant material. Both Polyester and Polycarbonate are fire retardant and have fire class B1. The German DIN 4102 has been drawn up by the Deutsches Institut für Normung. This institute deals with the most diverse standard topics. This classification is seen as the European standard when it comes to fire safety of products.

The following are the categories listed in order of degree of flammability:

Fire standard DIN 4102

Class Degree of flammability
A1 100% non-combustible
A2 98% non-combusible
B1 Flame-resistant
B2 Flammable
B3 Highly flammable


Technical information

  • General
    Definition Norm Unit Value
    Density ISO 1183 g/cm³ 1.2
    Moisture absorption in normal climate 0.2
    Fire rating DIN 4102 B 1
    Specific heat capacity kj/Kg°C 1.17
  • Mechanical
    Definition Norm Unit Value
    Tensile strength DIN 53455 N/mm 70
    Elongation to break DIN 53455 100
    E-Module DIN 53457 (23°C) N/mm²  2500
    Bending strength DIN 53452 N/mm²  75
    Impact strength DIN 53453 (23°C) Charpy 40
    Shore or ball pressure hardness Shore °D 80
    Coefficient of friction 0.39
  • Electrical
    Definition Norm Unit Value
    Relative electrical constant DIN 53485 (100Hz) 100 Hz 3.0
    Dielectric Loss Factor DIN 53483 (100Hz) tan (..x10-³ 0.0007
    Specific resistance DIN 53482 16 cm 10
    Surface resistance DIN 53482 13 10
    Creep current resistance DIN 53480 KC 260/300
    Breakdown voltage DIN 53481 kV/mm 38
  • Thermal
    Definition Norm Unit Value
    Crystalline melting point °C 230
    Heat conductivity DIN 52162 W/m°K 0.21
    Linear coefficient of expansion DIN 53762 mm/m°C 0.07
    Long-term no-load operating temperature °C -30 / 120
    Maximum short-term operating temperature °C 150
    Heat deformation DIN 53461 °C 138
  • Temperature range
    Minimum temperature Maximum temperature
     -30°C  +120°C

Machining data

  • Circular sawing
    Clearance angle (α) 15 - 30 [o]
    Rake angle (λ) 5 - 8 [o]
    Cutting speed 300 [m/min]
    Tooth pitch 5 - 10 [mm]
  • Band sawing
    Clearance angle (α) 15 - 30 [o]
    Rake angle (λ) 5 - 8 [o]
    Cutting speed 300 [m/min]
    Tooth pitch 2.5 - 3.5 [mm]
  • Drilling
    Clearance angle (α) 8 - 10 [o]
    Rake angle (λ) 10 - 20 [o]
    Top angle (φ) 90 [o]
    Cutting speed 50 - 100 [m/min]
    Start 0.2 - 0.3 [mm/rev]
  • Turning
    Clearance angle (α) 5 - 10 [o]
    Rake angle (λ) 5 - 8 [o]
    Setting angle (χ) 45 - 60 [o]
    Cutting speed 200 - 300 [m/min]
    Start 0.1 - 0.5 [mm]
  • Milling
    Clearance angle (α) 5 - 20 [o]
    Rake angle (λ) 2 - 15 [o]
    Cutting speed 200 - 500 [m/min]
    Start 0.1 - 0.5 [mm/rev]

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