Is Polycarbonate a Thermoplastic or Thermosetting Material

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Polycarbonate plastic is known for its high-performance,lightweight and the ability to balance between optical clarity, optical resistance, toughness, heat resistance and dimension stability.

These are some of the main reasons why they are commonly used to manufacture a number of glazing sheets and panels. The Bisphenol A (BPA) is the main building block of the polycarbonate plastic.

The available plastics can be classified as either thermosetting or thermoplastic plastics. The two types of plastics have unique features which make them suitable for different applications.


Thermoplastics are plastics which can be heated to pliable temperature after which they can be formed to take the desired shape.

This process can be repeated severally without altering the fundamental properties of the polymer. Some unique properties which are unique to these materials include:

  1. A high impact strength
  2. They are recyclable
  3. They can bond with other types of plastics
  4. The have an attractive finish

When these plastics are exposed to a high degree of temperature, they can soften which make them difficult to prototype.

On the other hand, a thermoset is a polymeric which undergoes an irreversible chemical process after it has cured.

It has a number of cross-linking which hinders molecular chain movement after it has cured. From the above definition, is polycarbonate a thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic?

Apart from the superlative properties that the polycarbonate sheets possess, this product is considered eco-friendly since it can be recycled.

A number of polycarbonate sheets/panels have been manufactured from recycled products. Polycarbonate are thermoplastics since they can be thermoformed severally without losing their desirable properties. They do not have cross linkages in their structure which can hinder them from being thermoformed a number of times. It is for this reason that polycarbonate sheets are widely used as glazing sheets.

The polycarbonate sheets which have been manufactured from virgin materials are more expensive than those that have been manufactured from the recycled materials.

Ideally, being that polycarbonates are thermoplastics, most companies have been shifting to green manufacturing process.

A number of organization are forcing the polycarbonate manufacturing companies to focus on recycling polycarbonate products. The polycarbonate sheets which are manufactured through extrusion have between 10 and 40% recycled materials.

The recycled raw materials are obtained from regrinding scrap or damaged polycarbonate sheets.However , in the PC market , it is different , most distributor need pure 100% new virgin materials,because the sheets will be used for the application like greenhouse,swimming pool cover ,roofing and some like these .

To conserve the environment, a number of polycarbonate sheets are manufactured in such a way that they can be 100% recyclable.

That is, after they’ve been used, they can be taken to the recycling centers to be used to make new sheets which can used for glazing purposes.

Other than reducing the amount of waste plastics within the environment, these polycarbonate sheets have also revolutionized the architectural market.

The modern buildings use polycarbonate glazing panels due to their lightweight and durability. The multi-wall polycarbonates have also gained popularity in design applications due to the enhanced insulation properties.

The multi-wall polycarbonate sheets can be manufactured from recycled materials too. They have improved the overall aesthetic spaces of buildings.


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About Auther

Angela Yang

Hi, I'm Angela. After being in plastic(mostly polycarbonate) industry for more than 10 years, I found there are much knowledge about polycarbonate sheet or film to share with everyone. So I decided to create a site where I could help people who are not familiar with polycarbonate sheet and other plastic sheet to know more about this material. Polycarbonate uses very wide in many industries. I hope you can find things intresting in this site and it can help you to know more about plastic.

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