Polycarbonate Sheet is that ultra tough, clear glazing material used in machine guards, anti vandal glazing and riot shields etc.
Although Polycarbonate Sheet is not totally unbreakable, it is approximately 250 times stronger than glass and currently the toughest stuff there is.
Polycarbonate Sheet is also known by many of it's brand or trade names such as: Lexan, Paltough or Makralon, to name a few. Without getting too technical and for our purposes here, they are all pretty much the same material but it is important to mention that each brand will offer a range of differing grades for differing applications.
Marguard is the name given to the scratch resistant grade of Lexan Polycarbonate. This is the grade of sheet that is commonly used in race car applications. It is more expensive but the hard coating on both surfaces allows the sheet to be cleaned easier and with a substantially reduced risk of scratches, extending the life of the windows substantially and arguably saving money in the long run.
Polycarbonate Sheet is what is called "notch sensitive" which means that if the sheet is drilled or notched in any way, it will reduce its impact resistance in that area.
As with all plastics, thermal expansion is a factor to be considered. It is advised, as with all plastics that consideration is given for the allowance for expansion and engineered into any application where changes in temperature is expected.
These days, manufacturers of Polycarbonate Sheet have grades that have improved resistance to UV sunlight for use on external applications. Non UV grades should only be considered for internal applications such as machine guards.
Standard Polycarbonate Sheet is particularly sensitive to any chemicals or acids etc. We would particularly advise the study of the "Lexan guidelines" but in general, a mild solution of water and washing up liquid and great care should be used. Particularly try to avoid the use of any dry dusters or cloths.
This is the great advantage of the Lexan Marguard grade where the hard coating comes into its own.
Polycarbonate Sheet within reason can be bent along a curve and can be held mechanically fairly successfully, please refer to the "Lexan guidelines". If your requirement is for a pe-bent or curved sheet or panel of Polycarbonate this would normally only be undertaken by specialist fabricators. Also remember that the hard coating on Lexan Marguard is less flexible and could crack if the curve is greater than the coatings flexibility.
Direct Plastics has one of the largest stocks of Lexan Polycarbonate Sheet and Lexan Marguard Sheet available. Either order online or call one of our experts on 0845 838 3318.