Optical Grade Polycarbonate Sheet

Optical grade has an optically clear, polished surface that is UV stabilized and used in premium visual applications. Custom cuts and cut-to-size available. Stocked materials typically ship in 2-5 business days.

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Standard size

ThicknessDimensionsColor CodeGrade
1mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade
2mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade
5mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade
10mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade
20mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade
50mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade
100mm1220mmX2440mmClearOptical Grade

Typical Properties

Specific gravity (73°F) D7921.2
Light transmittance (transparency/clarity)%D100386
Heat deflection temperature @ 264 psi°FD648270
Tensile strengthpsiD6389,500
Flexural moduluspsiD790345,000
Izod impact (notched)ft-lbs/in of notchD25612.0 – 16.0
Maximum continuous service temperature in air°F 240
Water absorption (immersion 24 hours)%D5700.15
Coefficient of linear thermal expansionin/in/°Fx10-5D6963.8

Why KUSLA plastic Optical Grade Polycarbonate Sheet

  • Exceptional optical clarity: Our Optical Grade Polycarbonate Sheet offers outstanding transparency and clarity, enhancing the visual aesthetics of your projects.
  • High light transmission: Maximizes brightness and optimizes lighting applications with its excellent light transmission capabilities.
  • UV protection: Provides long-lasting protection against harmful UV radiation for both indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Impact resistance: Exhibits superior impact resistance, ensuring durability and reducing the risk of breakage.
  • Lightweight: Significantly lighter than glass, making it easy to handle, transport, and install.
  • Weather resistance: Withstands harsh weather conditions without yellowing, cracking, or degrading over time.
  • Versatile applications: Suitable for a wide range of industries and applications, including signage, displays, lenses, and more.
  • Easy fabrication: Can be easily cut, drilled, shaped, and formed for customized designs and installations.
  • Chemical resistance: Resistant to many chemicals, making it ideal for applications with exposure to harsh substances.
  • Long lifespan: Highly durable with a long lifespan, ensuring sustained optical quality and performance.
  • Energy efficiency: Maximizes energy efficiency by effectively utilizing natural or artificial light sources.
  • Low maintenance: Easy to clean and resistant to scratches, requiring minimal maintenance.
  • Enhanced safety: Shatter-resistant design reduces the risk of injury from accidental impacts or breakage.
  • Optimal light diffusion: Offers controlled light diffusion for uniform illumination and reduced glare.
  • Regulatory compliance: Meets industry standards and regulations for safety, quality, and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is a high-quality polycarbonate material that is specifically engineered for applications requiring exceptional optical clarity and transparency. It is manufactured using advanced production techniques to ensure minimal visual distortion, high light transmission, and excellent optical properties. Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is designed to meet stringent optical standards and is commonly used in industries such as optics, electronics, automotive, and aerospace where optical clarity and precision are critical.

a comparison table highlighting the key differences between optical grade polycarbonate sheet and standard polycarbonate sheet:

Optical Grade Polycarbonate SheetStandard Polycarbonate Sheet
Optical ClarityExceptionally clear and transparent with minimal visual distortionClear, but may have slight visual distortion
Light TransmissionHigh light transmission, allowing for excellent visibilityGood light transmission, but may be slightly lower than optical grade
Optical PropertiesMeets stringent optical standards for precise applicationsMay have minor imperfections or variations in optical performance
Surface QualitySmooth and polished surface with low surface defectsMay have minor surface imperfections or scratches
ApplicationsIdeal for applications requiring precise optical performance, such as optics, display screens, lenses, etc.Suitable for general-purpose applications where optical clarity is not critical
Manufacturing ProcessProduced using specialized manufacturing techniques to ensure optical qualityManufactured using standard polycarbonate production methods

Here are some advantages of using optical grade polycarbonate sheet:

  1. Exceptional Optical Clarity: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet offers outstanding transparency with minimal visual distortion, allowing for excellent visibility and precise optical performance.
  2. High Light Transmission: It provides high light transmission, maximizing the amount of light passing through the sheet and ensuring bright and vibrant visuals.
  3. Superior Surface Quality: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is manufactured with a focus on achieving a smooth and polished surface, minimizing surface defects and imperfections that could affect optical clarity.
  4. Wide Range of Applications: Due to its exceptional optical properties, it is well-suited for various applications that demand precise optical performance, including optics, lenses, display screens, light diffusers, signage, and more.
  5. Impact Resistance: Like standard polycarbonate sheet, optical grade polycarbonate sheet retains the inherent impact resistance of the material, providing durability and protection against breakage.
  6. Lightweight: Polycarbonate is known for its lightweight nature, making optical grade polycarbonate sheet easy to handle and install in various applications.
  7. UV Protection: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be formulated with UV-resistant properties, providing protection against harmful UV radiation, making it suitable for outdoor applications.
  8. Excellent Formability: It can be easily shaped and fabricated into desired forms, allowing for versatility in design and accommodating complex shapes or curved surfaces.
  9. Chemical Resistance: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet exhibits good resistance to many chemicals, enhancing its durability and suitability for a wide range of environments.
  10. Longevity: When properly cared for, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can have a long lifespan, maintaining its optical properties and functionality over time.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be suitable for outdoor applications, depending on the specific product and formulation. While standard polycarbonate sheet is known for its excellent outdoor durability, optical grade polycarbonate sheet may have additional features and treatments that make it suitable for extended outdoor use.

Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be manufactured with UV-resistant properties to protect against the damaging effects of sunlight and maintain its optical clarity over time. It can withstand exposure to various weather conditions, including rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations. However, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations to ensure the specific product is suitable for outdoor applications.

Additionally, optical grade polycarbonate sheet’s exceptional optical clarity and light transmission make it suitable for outdoor signage, displays, and other applications where visual aesthetics are important. It can provide vibrant and clear visuals even in bright outdoor environments.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can provide UV protection. UV protection is an important feature of high-quality polycarbonate sheets, including optical grade sheets. These sheets are typically manufactured with UV-resistant coatings or additives that help block and filter out harmful UV radiation from the sun.

UV protection is crucial for applications where the sheet is exposed to sunlight for extended periods, as UV radiation can cause yellowing, degradation, and loss of optical clarity over time. By incorporating UV protection, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can maintain its transparency, optical quality, and color stability even after prolonged outdoor exposure.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet is commonly used for optical lenses and displays. Its excellent optical properties, such as high clarity and light transmission, make it a suitable choice for applications that require precise light control, image clarity, and distortion-free viewing.

Optical grade polycarbonate sheet offers exceptional optical characteristics, including low birefringence (which minimizes optical distortion), high refractive index (allowing for thinner lens profiles), and excellent light transmission (typically above 90%). These properties make it well-suited for various optical applications, including camera lenses, eyeglass lenses, microscope lenses, projector lenses, and display panels.

Additionally, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be easily shaped and fabricated into complex lens designs, making it a versatile material for optical applications. Its lightweight and impact-resistant nature further contribute to its popularity in the optical industry.

Optical grade polycarbonate sheet offers comparable optical clarity to glass, making it a popular alternative in many applications. While glass is known for its excellent clarity and high refractive index, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can achieve similar levels of optical performance.

Here are some key points of comparison between optical grade polycarbonate sheet and glass in terms of optical clarity:

  1. Clarity: Both materials can provide excellent clarity, allowing for clear and sharp vision or image transmission.
  2. Light Transmission: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet typically has high light transmission, often above 90%, similar to glass. This means it allows a significant amount of light to pass through, minimizing distortion and maintaining clear visibility.

Optical grade polycarbonate sheet finds applications in various industries where optical clarity, impact resistance, and lightweight properties are desired. Some common industries that commonly use optical grade polycarbonate sheet include:

  1. Optics and Optoelectronics: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is widely used in the optics industry for lens manufacturing, including eyewear lenses, camera lenses, microscope lenses, and optical filters. It is also used in optical instruments and optoelectronic devices.
  2. Display and Signage: The exceptional optical clarity of optical grade polycarbonate sheet makes it suitable for display applications, such as LCD screens, touch panels, digital signage, and advertising displays. It can provide protection and optical enhancement for various display technologies.
  3. Automotive: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is used in automotive applications such as headlight lenses, instrument cluster covers, and interior components. Its impact resistance and lightweight properties make it a preferred choice for enhancing safety and fuel efficiency in vehicles.
  4. Aerospace and Aviation: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is utilized in the aerospace industry for aircraft windows, cockpit panels, and transparent cabin components. Its high impact resistance, lightweight nature, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures make it suitable for aviation applications.
  5. Medical and Healthcare: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is employed in medical devices, surgical equipment, protective eyewear, and medical imaging equipment. Its biocompatibility, impact resistance, and optical clarity make it suitable for various medical and healthcare applications.
  6. Electronics and Semiconductor: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet is used in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing for applications such as light guides, LED covers, and optical sensors. It offers optical efficiency, durability, and design flexibility for these applications.
  7. Architectural and Construction: In architectural and construction projects, optical grade polycarbonate sheet is used for skylights, canopies, glazing, and transparent roofing. It provides natural lighting, impact resistance, and design versatility for architectural applications.
  8. Industrial Equipment: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet finds use in industrial equipment and machinery for windows, protective guards, machine covers, and inspection panels. Its durability, impact resistance, and transparency contribute to the safety and efficiency of industrial processes.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet is impact-resistant. Polycarbonate is known for its exceptional impact resistance, and optical grade polycarbonate sheet inherits these properties. It is much stronger than glass and many other plastics, making it highly resistant to impact, shattering, and breakage.

The impact resistance of optical grade polycarbonate sheet allows it to withstand significant forces without cracking or breaking. This makes it suitable for applications where safety is crucial, such as protective eyewear, security windows, automotive glazing, and outdoor signage.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be easily machined and fabricated. Polycarbonate is a versatile material that lends itself well to various machining and fabrication processes, allowing for precise shaping and customization according to specific requirements.

Here are some key points regarding the machinability and fabricability of optical grade polycarbonate sheet:

  1. Cutting: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be easily cut using standard cutting tools such as saws, routers, or laser cutting machines. It maintains clean edges and minimal chipping during the cutting process.
  2. Drilling: It can be drilled using common drill bits or CNC drilling machines. Pre-drilling pilot holes and using low drilling speeds are recommended to ensure accurate and clean holes.
  3. Routing and Milling: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be routed and milled to create precise shapes, curves, and details. CNC routing machines are often used for this purpose, providing high precision and repeatability.
  4. Thermoforming: It can be heated and formed into desired shapes using the thermoforming process. Optical grade polycarbonate sheet has excellent thermoforming characteristics, allowing for complex shapes and deep draws.
  5. Bonding and Welding: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be bonded or welded using adhesives or solvent welding techniques. This allows for the joining of multiple sheets or the attachment of additional components.
  6. Polishing: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be polished to enhance its optical clarity. Polishing processes such as flame polishing or mechanical polishing can be employed to achieve the desired surface finish.

The ease of machining and fabrication of optical grade polycarbonate sheet makes it a preferred choice for applications where customization and precise shaping are required. Whether it’s cutting, drilling, routing, thermoforming, bonding, or polishing, optical grade polycarbonate sheet offers versatility and ease of processing to bring your design concepts to life.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet may require some special cleaning and maintenance to preserve its optical clarity and performance. Here are some guidelines to ensure proper cleaning and maintenance of optical grade polycarbonate sheet:

  1. Gentle Cleaning: Use a mild, non-abrasive soap or detergent and lukewarm water to clean the sheet. Avoid using harsh chemicals, solvents, or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the surface or cause hazing.
  2. Soft Cloth or Sponge: Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the sheet. Avoid using abrasive materials or rough scrubbing, as they can scratch the surface.
  3. Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, rinse the sheet with clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure all cleaning agents are completely rinsed off.
  4. Pat Dry: Use a soft, lint-free cloth or chamois to pat dry the sheet. Avoid wiping the surface vigorously, as it can create scratches or static charges.
  5. Avoid Direct Contact: Prevent direct contact with sharp objects or abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the surface. Handle the sheet with care to avoid any impact or scratching.
  6. Protection from UV Exposure: While optical grade polycarbonate sheet has inherent UV resistance, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may degrade its optical properties over time. Consider using UV protective coatings or films if the sheet will be exposed to intense UV radiation.
  7. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect the sheet for any signs of damage, such as scratches or cracks. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage or compromised optical performance.
  8. Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Avoid subjecting the sheet to extreme temperatures, as it can affect its dimensional stability. Optimal temperature ranges should be followed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The light transmission capability of optical grade polycarbonate sheet is exceptional, allowing for excellent clarity and light transmission. Optical grade polycarbonate sheets can achieve light transmission levels of up to 90% or more, making them highly efficient in transmitting light across the visible spectrum.

For example, a high-quality optical grade polycarbonate sheet with a thickness of 3mm can typically offer light transmission levels of around 88% to 90%. Thinner sheets, such as 2mm thickness, can provide even higher light transmission levels of approximately 90% to 92%. These values indicate the amount of light that passes through the sheet without significant loss or distortion.

It’s worth noting that specific grades and formulations of optical grade polycarbonate may have slight variations in light transmission capabilities. Additionally, the presence of any surface coatings or treatments, such as anti-reflective coatings, can also impact light transmission.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet is available in various thickness options to meet different application requirements. The thickness range can vary depending on the manufacturer and specific product offerings. Typically, optical grade polycarbonate sheets are available in thicknesses ranging from as thin as 0.5mm (or even thinner) up to thicker sheets of 50mm or more.

Yes, optical grade polycarbonate sheet is well-suited for various architectural applications. Its unique combination of optical clarity, durability, and versatility makes it an attractive choice for architects and designers.

Here are some common architectural applications where optical grade polycarbonate sheet is used:

  1. Skylights and Roofing: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be used to create stunning skylights and roofing systems, allowing natural light to enter the space while providing excellent impact resistance and UV protection.
  2. Canopies and Awnings: Its lightweight and durable nature make optical grade polycarbonate sheet a popular choice for creating stylish and functional canopies and awnings, providing shade and protection from the elements.
  3. Greenhouses and Garden Structures: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet’s exceptional light transmission capabilities make it ideal for constructing greenhouses, garden enclosures, and botanical gardens, allowing plants to thrive by maximizing natural sunlight.
  4. Balustrades and Railing Systems: Its impact resistance and optical clarity make optical grade polycarbonate sheet a suitable material for balustrades and railing systems, offering safety and an unobstructed view.
  5. Partitions and Dividers: Optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be used to create partitions and dividers in architectural spaces, providing visual separation while maintaining a sense of openness and light transmission.
  6. Interior Design Elements: From decorative panels to furniture components, optical grade polycarbonate sheet can be utilized in various interior design applications to add a touch of elegance and modernity.

a comparison table between optical grade polycarbonate sheet, glass, and acrylic in terms of cost:

MaterialCost Range (Per Square Foot)
Optical Grade Polycarbonate SheetModerate to High
GlassModerate to High
AcrylicLow to Moderate

Please note that the cost of these materials can vary depending on factors such as thickness, size, quality, and supplier. The cost ranges provided are approximate and intended to give a general idea of the relative price levels.

Optical grade polycarbonate sheet generally falls within the moderate to high price range due to its specialized optical properties, such as exceptional clarity and light transmission. It offers a balance between cost and performance, making it a popular choice for applications where optical quality is critical.

Glass typically falls within the moderate to high price range as well, with variations depending on factors like thickness, type of glass (e.g., tempered, laminated), and any additional treatments or coatings.

Acrylic, on the other hand, tends to be more cost-effective compared to polycarbonate and glass. It falls within the low to moderate price range and is often chosen as an alternative to glass due to its optical clarity and lower cost.

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