ICOMold makes the best custom polycarbonate injection molded parts that are durable and lightweight. ICOMold’s team of experts can work with you to determine if polycarbonate is the best match for your injection molding project. Our custom plastic injection molds can last well over 100,000 cycles. Polycarbonate has many advantages and applications when used in the injection molding process.
Sometimes called by its trademarked names Lexan, Makrolon, Makroclear, or arcoPlus®, polycarbonate is a commercially available thermoplastic that can withstand strong impacts, is transparent and amorphous. It can be pliable at room temperature and may be reformed without the application of heat. Polycarbonate can be liquified at its melting point, making it easy to use for injection molding applications. Some common applications of polycarbonate include windshields, phone cases, pens, vehicle headlights and more. Its versatility is just one advantage of this common thermoplastic.
Advantages of Injection Molding Polycarbonate
Polycarbonate’s wide variety of applications combined with the effectiveness of the injection molding process results in numerous advantages. Some of these primary benefits of using polycarbonate for an injection molding project include:
- High impact strength
- Strength at high temperatures/ high heat resistance
- Glass-like appearance (transparency)
- Flexural strength
- Low moisture absorption
- Excellent creep resistance
- Dielectric properties
- Stronger than acrylic
- Chemical resistance
Injection Molding Polycarbonate Specifications
Polycarbonates are polymers that gain their stiff structure as a result of their methyl and phenyl groups. The methyl and phenyl groups form a tightly-bound linear chain that adds to the thermal resistance of polycarbonate. The heat deflection temperature of polycarbonate is 270◦F at 264 psi. To increase its heat deflection by 25◦F, glass fibers may be added to polycarbonate. It is important to note that its flexural and tensile strength and flexural modulus decreases as the temperature increases. Polycarbonates impact strength decreases the closer the temperature moves towards 0◦F. When exposed to strong alkaline solutions or chlorinated hydrocarbons, polycarbonate will begin to decompose. These specifications are important to consider when selecting polycarbonate and starting the production process.
Injection Molding Polycarbonate Process
To begin the injection molding process, the polycarbonate is heated into a liquid form. It is then added to a two-sided mold to create the desired shape. Once the item has cooled, it is dropped into a bin and then moved into post–processing for finishing touches. The advantage of using injection molding for your polycarbonate part is that once the tool has been made, it can be used over and over again, producing a large volume of high-quality polycarbonate products.
Applications of Injection Molding Polycarbonate
Polycarbonate is often used in injection molding applications when an impact-resistant alternative to glass is desired. Polycarbonate is very popular and used across multiple industries for both commercial and consumer goods. Some common uses of polycarbonate in injection molding include:
- Medical applications
- Eyeglasses, sunglasses, safety glasses
- Aircraft parts
- Construction components
- Electrical insulators and connectors
- Bulletproof or shatterproof glass
- Instrument covers
- Equipment housings
- CDs and DVDs
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ICOMold can work with you on the design and production of your polycarbonate part. Get an instant quote today.