Clear and Colored Polycarbonate
At TAP Plastics, we offer a variety of cut-to-size polycarbonate panels in a wide range of colors, grades, and sizes to choose from. The polycarbonate sheets we supply are made by Makrolon®, a renowned leader in polycarbonate plastic and PC-based polyblends. Makrolon’s Monogal polycarbonate extruded sheet is designed to meet the stringent demands of many commercial and industrial applications, such as fabrication, furniture making, curtain-wall framing, lighting, noise reduction, signage, thermoforming, and more. Our customers use polycarbonate in a variety of commercial and residential building projects.
About Polycarbonate, Also Known as Lexan
One of the most common forms of plastic is a group of thermoplastic polymers known as polycarbonates (PC). This synthetic resin is a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic that can be used to produce a variety of precision machined parts and products, but it’s also frequently used as a replacement for acrylic, glass, and polyethylene. Polycarbonate sheets offer a wide variety of characteristics and features that are well-suited to numerous applications and industries, including agricultural, automotive, construction, electrical, medical, and security, to name a few.
TAP Video: What is Polycarbonate Sheet?
Features and Benefits of Polycarbonate (Lexan) Sheets:
- Virtually unbreakable
- High impact resistance
- High clarity and light transmission
- UV protective layer (1 or 2 sided)
- High flame resistance
- Half the weight of glass
- Easy to machine, handle, and install
Weight, tensile strength, thermal expansion, and chemical resistance are all particularly important factors in most applications.
In terms of impact strength, you can’t go wrong with choosing a polycarbonate sheet. This general-purpose thermoplastic is approximately 200 times stronger than glass and polyethylene. Plus, polycarbonate sheets have a higher relative impact strength than acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), polyphenylene oxide (PPO), acrylic, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polyamides (nylons). You can rely on this rugged plastic to defend against burglaries or vandalism and reduce the risk of injury related to broken glass.
Although polycarbonate sheeting may expand and contract with temperature alterations, it does not shrink with age. Polycarbonate plastic’s thermal expansion coefficient is over 100 times smaller than polyethylene, making it well-suited to applications where temperature changes are a concern. Another pleasing characteristic of this thermoplastic is that it is very pliable. Polycarbonate’s ductile properties allow it to be cut or cold-formed on site and at room temperature without cracking or breaking, allowing you to make small angle bends in prototyping applications where aluminum sheet metal lacks viability. This ductility allows thermoplastic sheeting to be formed into curves that would otherwise be impossible to construct with laminated glass or acrylic materials.
This sturdy and highly impact-resistant material also has exceptional clarity and light transmission properties. Unlike glass, polycarbonate cannot be easily broken or damaged in harsh conditions. Polycarbonate sheets are virtually unbreakable, giving them a distinct advantage over glass in terms of safety and security. Clear polycarbonate panels are well-suited to motorcycle fairings, skylights, windows, windshields, and other barriers. Polycarbonate sheet is also resistant to harmful ultraviolet rays, but that’s not all. It is also resistant to heat, cold, and water damage, making it an excellent option for building barriers, fencing, glazing, roofing, and so much more. We supply transparent and translucent sheets as well as sign-grade white polycarbonate sheeting to suit any need.
One other advantage of polycarbonate sheet that is often overlooked is its ease of cleaning and maintenance. In terms of cleaning polycarbonate, rinse with warm water using a soft cloth or sponge to wash away any surface materials, grit, and grime. You can also use a soft microfiber cloth or non-abrasive sponge to wash with a mild diluted soap or detergent gently. To prevent water spots, you thoroughly dry the glazing with a chamois or moist sponge. Try to avoid abrasive cleaners and cleaning in direct sunlight to prevent streaking.
Applications and Projects
- Fabricating: sawing, routing, shearing, laser cutting, die cutting, and drilling
- Fastening: mechanical fastening, solvent bonding, transfer tape bonding, and welding
- Finishing: sanding, jointing/planing, solvent polishing, hot stamping, screen printing, painting,
- Forming: brake bending, cold bending, thermoforming, molding, drape forming, and strip heating
- Glazing: curtain-wall framing with either a wet or dry glazing system
The possibilities of polycarbonate sheets are practically limitless. Polycarbonate sheet is resistant to many common household materials, including Beer, Coffee, Detergents, Fish Oil, Fruit Syrup, Liquor, Milk, Mineral Water, Orange Juice, Liquor, Wine, Table Vinegar, Salad Oil, Salt Solution (10%), Tomato Juice, Vodka, Cocoa. Some of the most common polycarbonate applications include cabinet doors, cell phones, countertops, eyeglass lenses, greenhouses, light bezels, machinery guards, office dividers, plant nurseries, protective visors, riot shields, swimming pool enclosures, and much more. We also offer an abrasion-resistant polycarbonate (Monogal AR) for high-traffic areas and exterior applications.
Polycarbonate Sheets Available Online or Pick-up at a Store Near You
Our current polycarbonate collection allows you to choose between clear, transparent gray, and sign white. You can also specify the width, length, and quantity of polycarbonate sheeting you require to make covered walkways, POP displays, machine guards, skylights, storefronts, and so much more. Cut-to-size requests may take one to two business days to process, or you can visit one of our store locations to get customized polycarbonate panels in five minutes or less, from start to finish. We can also customize PC sheets with rounded edges, radius corners, or holes.
- Thicknesses: .015", .020", 1/32" or .030", 1/16" or .060", 3/32" or .093", 1/8" or .118", 3/16" or .177", 1/4" or .236", 3/8" or .375" , 1/2" or .50".
- Colors: all thicknesses in clear. Solar gray in 1/8" or .118", 1/4" or .236". Sign white in 1/8" or .118".
Whether you are looking for durability or aesthetics, polycarbonate sheets can save you time, money, an efficiency, all while reducing the risk of injury during installation. With more than 60 years of experience distributing high-quality plastics, we are confident in our ability to help you locate the materials you need to complete any project with confidence. Plus, our cut-to-order services make it easy to get the exact size sheet you need. If you need any assistance in determining which grade of Makrolon® best fits your needs, please feel free to contact us today to speak with a thermoplastic expert. Let us know how we can help you turn your vision into reality!