skip to content
CALL (866) 832-9315
Request a Quote
Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate

Tuffak Polycarbonate is tough, impact resistant and energy efficient

Polycarbonate

Superior Impact Stength


High Impact Polycarbonate Sheet and Rod

Polycarbonate sheet material is used frequently for shields, guards, and containment barriers.

It can be cold or heat bent to most configurations. A popular material manufactured by several companies: Lexan® by SABIC, Tuffak® by Plaskolite (formerly Makrolon® by Covestro), Zelux® by Westlake, Unicar® by Nytef Div of Polymer, Ensicar® by Ensinger, Cyrolon®, Polygal®, Plazit®, Tuffak® GP, Paltuf®, Texin®.

Today, there are numerous versions of these Polycarbonate resins, produced by a dozen different resin manufacturers; however Lexan® and Makrolon® still lead the field.

In addition to the large number of resin manufacturers, there are also dozens of extruders that can produce the Polycarbonate in Sheet or rod.

The leaders are Tuffak Plaskolite (formerly Covestro), SABIC Lexan and Plazit Polygal. All three have extrusion equipment in the USA and produce high clarity and high quality Polycarbonate sheet.

Some of the leaders in the Thick Plate and Rod extrusion are Ensinger, Westlake, Rochling, Polymer and Gehr Plastics.

polycarbonate-sheet-riot-shields, protection for police officers

Why you should use Polycarbonate:

Polycarbonate sheet is a common material for a variety of glazing applications, impact resistant shields and formed parts. Polycarbonate Sheet and Rod are generally produced from plastic resin produced by two main plastic resin manufacturers:

1) Plaskolite (formerly Covestro Plastic) produce Tuffak® Polycarbonate (formerly Makrolon®) sheets as well as a full line of Acrylic Sheet and Acrylic Mirror materials.

2) SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation) Plastic, producing a wide range of plastic resins including: Lexan® Polycarbonate, Cycolac®, ABSNoryl®- Poly Phenylene Oxide (PPO)Ultem® 1000 and Ultem® 2300 PEI resins.

The general purpose Polycarbonate resins are about the same as they were when they were first invented. The research on this resin started in 1898, but was first perfected by Bayer in Germany and was patented and registered in 1955. Amazingly, one week after the first invention by Bayer, Daniel Fox at General Electric in New York, independently synthesized a branched Polycarbonate resin.

Both companies filed for US Patents in 1955, and agreed that the company lacking priority would be granted a license to the technology. The patent was resolved in Bayer’s favor and Bayer began commercial production under the trade name Makrolon® in 1958.

GE Plastics began production under the Lexan® trade in 1960.

Polycarbonate is ITAR compliant, and Polycarbonate is RoHS compliant. 

Machined Polycarbonate Block made from Zelux M

 

Tuffak® (formerly Makrolon® GP) – General Purpose Polycarbonate Sheet

~ UV Stable and Excellent for high impact and glazing applications

Tuffak® (formerly Makrolon® GP-V) – UL rated General Purpose Polycarbonate Sheet

~ UV Stabilized and UL 94 V-2 at .060” thickness, UL 94 V-0 at .220” thickness

Tuffak® (formerly Makrolon® FI) – UL rated Polycarbonate Sheet (Flame Inhibiting)

~ High flame resistance – UL 94 V-0 at .060” thickness and UL 94 5VA at .118” thickness

~ FAR 25.853 Part 1, a (i) – 60 sec and Part 1, a (ii) – 12 sec – PASS @0.060” – 0.125”

Tuffak® (formerly Makrolon® AR) – Abrasion Resistant Polycarbonate Sheet

~ Added proprietary hard coating for higher abrasion resistance

Plazit Polygal:

Monogal®

~ UV Stable and Excellent for high impact and glazing applications

Monogal-F®

~ High flame resistance – UL 94 V-0 at .080” thickness

~ FAR 25.85 Part 1, a (i) – 60 sec and Part 1, a (ii) – 12 sec – PASS @0.080” – 0.236”

Materials Available As:

Extruded Sheet:

.030″ – .500″ in 48″ X 96″ Clear Masked General Purpose Sheets
Molded Sheet or Plate:

.500″ – 4.0″ Thick Natural (Transparent) and Optical Grade up to 48″ X 96″

Film:

.010″ –.040″ in 24″ X 48″

Rod:

.125″ – 12.0″ Diameter – Natural (Machine Grade – Non Pigmented) in 96″ Lengths.
Black is Available in some sheet and rod sizes as a Standard:

Contact For Details

Tube:

.250″ ID – 4.0″ ID in 96″ Lengths (variety of wall thickness based on diameter)

Special Formulations:

Medical Grade, Conductive, Static Dissipative, Glass Filled, Custom Sizes, Formulations, Profiles or Colors

Typical Resin Properties for Polycarbonate

These properties are for evaluation purposes only. This information is not to be construed as a warranty, guarantee or assurance that you may achieve the same results. Materials made from different resin types, manufacturing techniques and manufacturers will react differently. The information should be used to compare against other materials only, and each user should make his own tests to determine suitability. No warranty as to this materials suitability are either expressed nor implied.

Is Lexan® the same as Bayer Makrolon® or Tuffak® Polycarbonate

Is Lexan® the same as Bayer Makrolon® or Tuffak® Polycarbonate

Is Lexan® the same as Makrolon® or Tuffak® Polycarbonate?

The short answer is no, are they very similar, yes. The reason is that both Lexan® and Makrolon® are brand names, along with Hyzod®, Cyrolon®, Zelux®, Paltuf®, Tuffak®, Ensicar®, Unicar®, Texin®, Apex® and many more. Lexan® is a brand name for SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) which acquired the entire General Electric Plastics division several years ago. Makrolon® (formerly Hyzod®) is a trade name for Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialSciences).

These materials are all Polycarbonate which is a very tough, high impact plastic material. The base resins are very similar, however, the end product varies quite a bit depending on the manufacturer. The Covestro Bayer Makrolon® GP-V material does meet the UL 94 V-0 flame retardant certification (at .220″ thick), and the Makrolon® GP is UL 94 HB rated.

How do I tell the difference between Lexan® and Makrolon®?Bayer MaterialScience now Covestro, and then purchased by Plaskolite

It would be impossible to tell the difference between brands by just looking, unless it still has the masking on, it would take some testing. The majority of both brands of materials are available in a very clear, UV stabilized glazing grade and look identical to the naked eye. This material is excellent for replacing window glass and is virtually unbreakable.

Industrial Plastic Supply stocks the Covestro (Bayer) Makrolon® GP Polycarbonate materials in stock and ready for shipment. We have chosen to carry the Covestro Makrolon® Polycarbonate because of its superior quality, physical properties and ratings. You will find these materials available as sheet and rod here. If you have further questions, or would like to see the data sheet on Makrolon® Polycarbonate and/or Lexan® Polycarbonate for comparison, please give us a call: 866-832-9315 or email: request@indplastic.com

This post is part of our effort to answer as many questions for you as possible, and to assist you in choosing the proper material for your applications, this is another very popular question we hear.

Yes, Lexan® and Makrolon® are both Polycarbonate materials. And we believe that the Covestro Makrolon® is the best Polycarbonate sheet available in the market place.

Looking For Vacuum Forming (Formable) Plastics

Looking For Vacuum Forming (Formable) Plastics

“What is a good material for vacuum forming?”

This is a popular question received from clients. This question has a rather long answer. Most Thermoplastic materials are thermo-formable, and thus vacuum forming compatible. Some of the most common and easier materials for forming are listed below.vacuum forming polycarbonate for food and chocolate molds

Common Vacuum Forming Materials:

Each plastic material has a variety of different properties, and they form at different temperatures. The Acrylic, PETG and Polycarbonate sheets are normally clear (can be special ordered in colors), however the Polycarbonate may have to be heat dried prior to the vacuum forming temperature phase (depending on thickness).
ABS and HIS both form very well, and are normally White or Black. The ABS normally has a fine texture called Hair Cell on the primary surface, the Styrene is smooth on two sides. On a special basis Styrene and ABS can be run in almost any thickness up to .375″ thick, and in almost any color (minimums apply) and in a huge range of custom run sheet sizes.
While many other materials may be available for special applications and with various improved properties, these are the most commonly available and used materials.
Some of the important factors in choosing a material for your vacuum forming project would be: clarity, strength of finished part, temperature, depth of draw, UV resistance, Flame Retardant Rating, thickness and size range.

Large parts can be produced using this process, for example – Hot Tubs and Pick Up Truck Bed Liners. Also vacuum forming is used to produce very small parts like chocolate molds and numerous packaging applications.Pouring White Chocolate into Polycarbonate Mold

Most vacuum forming started in their garage (or kitchen). A simple vacuum forming ‘machine’ can be produced at very low cost using 2 X 4 wood, peg board, and your shop vac. Obviously this is not the way the above hot tub was formed, but the process is rather simple and is much more an art than a science. We have seen several YouTube videos showing entry level – DIY style vacuum forming machines.  Most use the kitchen oven as the heat source and are used to make small chocolate molds, wax molds, hobby parts and more. Many materials can be used in this simple process, and we are happy to assist you with your basic questions of the vacuum forming process.
There are also a wide range of commercial thermoforming machines (see video) available, in almost unlimited range of sizes.

There is a wide array of materials that can be used, and they have different properties – no one material meets all your needs. Contact us for details on your vacuum forming requirements or with question.