Polycarbonate Film is an amorphous, odorless, non-toxic, highly transparent colorless or slightly yellow thermoplastic engineering plastic. Polycarbonate Films could be divided into halogen-free flame retardant PC, black flame retardant PC, transparent flame retardant PC, frosted PC, transparent PC, hardened PC, scratch proof PC, scratch proof pc, printing grade pc, optical grade pc.
Kusla supplies customed Polycarbonate film with different types and colors
|W x L(mm×m)||927×400|
|W x L||3′×1312′|
- Good flame retardant UL94-V2 level
- Good insulation E class insulation material
- High transmittance colorless sheet transmittance of 90%
- High heat resistance glass transition temperature 150℃
Typical Properties of Polycarbonate
|Specific gravity (73°F)||D792||1.2|
|Light transmittance (transparency/clarity)||%||D1003||86|
|Heat deflection temperature @ 264 psi||°F||D648||270|
|Izod impact (notched)||ft-lbs/in of notch||D256||12.0 - 16.0|
|Maximum continuous service temperature in air||°F||240|
|Water absorption (immersion 24 hours)||%||D570||0.15|
|Coefficient of linear thermal expansion||in/in/°Fx10-5||D696||3.8|
Choose Polycarbonate Film For Your Program
Frequently Asked Questions about Polycarbonate films
Some of the benefits and advantages of polycarbonate films over other types of plastic films are:
- outstanding optical clarity, printability, impact strength, and dimensional stability.
- high temperature resistance and superb workability for secondary processes such as die-cutting, embossing, and thermoforming.
- come in a variety of surface textures, colors, and special properties such as flame retardance, chemical resistance, anti-fog, and tamper evidence.
- stronger than glass and half the weight.
- more light transmission than glass and are clearer and more transparent even when the sheets are thick.
- natural UV protection and can block almost the entire relevant UV spectrum.
- easy to shape and can be bent or molded without heating.
- resistant to vandalism and shattering and can withstand enormous amounts of force and pressure.
Polycarbonate films are available in different grades, finishes, and textures depending on the application and performance requirements. Some of the common types are:
- General purpose polycarbonate films: These are clear, transparent, or colored films that have good optical clarity, mechanical strength, printability, and formability. They are suitable for graphic and optical applications such as labels, decals, overlays, and lenses.
- Sign polycarbonate films: These are translucent or opaque films that have good light diffusion and graphics clarity. They are suitable for backlit signage and display applications.
- Machine polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have high heat resistance and dimensional stability. They are suitable for industrial applications such as machine guards, electrical insulation, and thermoforming.
- Glass-filled polycarbonate films: These are reinforced films that have improved stiffness, strength, and thermal conductivity. They are suitable for applications that require high rigidity and low thermal expansion such as electronic components and heat sinks.
- FDA compliant polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that meet the food contact regulations of the US Food and Drug Administration. They are suitable for food packaging and medical applications.
- FMVSS compliant polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that meet the flammability standards of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. They are suitable for automotive interior applications such as instrument panels and door trim.
- Light diffusing polycarbonate films: These are translucent or opaque films that have special properties to scatter, guide, or block light. They are suitable for lighting applications such as LED backlighting, light boxes, and luminaires.
- Flame inhibiting polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have halogen-free flame retardance. They are suitable for applications that require low flammability and high safety such as electrical devices, security cards, and labels.
- Low flammability polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have reduced flammability and smoke generation. They are suitable for applications that require Class A Fire Rating such as building interiors, mass transit vehicles, and aircraft cabins.
- IR blocking polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have infrared blocking capability. They are suitable for applications that require thermal management or energy efficiency such as solar panels, greenhouses, and windows.
- UV blocking polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have ultraviolet blocking capability. They are suitable for applications that require UV protection or resistance such as outdoor signage, skylights, and eyewear.
- Abrasion resistant polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have a hard coating to resist scratches, abrasion, and chemicals. They are suitable for applications that require durability and easy cleaning such as touchscreens, protective goggles, and nameplates.
- Bullet resistant polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have high impact resistance and shatterproof properties. They are suitable for applications that require security and protection such as bulletproof glass, bank teller windows, and ATM machines.
- Containment polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have high puncture resistance and tear strength. They are suitable for applications that require containment or isolation such as hazardous waste bags, medical waste containers, and biohazard suits.
- Antimicrobial polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have an antimicrobial additive to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold. They are suitable for applications that require hygiene and sanitation such as food processing equipment, hospital equipment, and public facilities.
- Optical polycarbonate films: These are clear or colored films that have high optical quality and low birefringence. They are suitable for applications that require precision optics such as lenses, prisms, filters, and mirrors.
Polycarbonate films also come in different finishes and textures to enhance their appearance or functionality. Some of the common types are:
- Gloss or polished polycarbonate films: These are smooth and shiny films that have high reflectivity and transparency. They are suitable for applications that require a glossy look or a mirror effect such as decorative panels, cosmetic packaging, and jewelry.
- Velvet polycarbonate films: These are fine-textured and matte films that have low reflectivity and glare. They are suitable for applications that require a soft touch or a velvet feel such as book covers, menus, and labels .
- Matte polycarbonate films: These are coarse-textured and dull films that have low gloss and high opacity. They are suitable for applications that require a matte look or a non-glare surface such as instrument panels, keyboards, and displays .
- Suede polycarbonate films: These are rough-textured and frosted films that have low gloss and high diffusion. They are suitable for applications that require a suede look or a light scattering effect such as light fixtures, privacy screens, and window films .
Polycarbonate films have a wide range of applications and uses in various industries and sectors. Some of the typical applications and uses are:
- Graphic and optical applications: Polycarbonate films are used for labels, decals, overlays, lenses, and displays that require high optical clarity, printability, impact strength, and dimensional stability.
- Lighting applications: Polycarbonate films are used for backlit signage, light boxes, luminaires, and light fixtures that require light diffusion, light guiding, or light blocking properties.
- Automotive applications: Polycarbonate films are used for instrument panels, door trim, sun visors, and lighting components that require heat resistance, flame retardance, and light management properties.
- Electrical applications: Polycarbonate films are used for electronic components, wire jackets, insulators, and circuit boards that require thermal and electrical resistance, flame retardance, and chemical resistance.
- Security and ID card applications: Polycarbonate films are used for security cards, ID cards, passports, and driver’s licenses that require durability, tamper evidence, UV protection, and security features.
- Medical applications: Polycarbonate films are used for medical devices, medical packaging, surgical masks, and biohazard suits that require hygiene, sanitation, puncture resistance, and antimicrobial properties.
- Food packaging applications: Polycarbonate films are used for food containers, trays, cups, and lids that require FDA compliance, transparency, heat resistance, and chemical resistance.
- Industrial applications: Polycarbonate films are used for machine guards, heat sinks, thermoforming parts, and capillary tubing that require rigidity, strength, thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion.
- Optical applications: Polycarbonate films are used for lenses, prisms, filters, and mirrors that require high optical quality, low birefringence, and precision optics.
- Protective applications: Polycarbonate films are used for safety goggles, protective visors, bulletproof glass, and bank teller windows that require impact resistance, shatterproof properties, abrasion resistance, and UV protection .
Printing on polycarbonate films can be done using different methods such as screen printing and flexo printing. For screen printing, you can place down the polycarbonate sheet or film you want to print and put a square piece of cardboard below it. Set the screen over the polycarbonate material and pour small quantity of the chosen ink throughout the screen top horizontally. For flexo printing, you apply ink on an anilox roller, which works with the doctor blade. This controls the process of producing an even layer of ink.
Polycarbonate films can be cut, die-cut, embossed, or thermoformed using various methods and equipment. Some of the common ways are:
- Cutting: Polycarbonate films can be cut using a sharp knife, scissors, or a guillotine. However, for more precise and accurate cutting, CNC routers are preferred. CNC routers use computer-controlled cutting tools to trim the excess material from the formed part. CNC routers can cut parts of any size and shape with high precision and repeatability.
- Die-cutting: Polycarbonate films can be die-cut using a custom die that is created for a specific shape or pattern. Die-cutting involves using specially positioned blades mounted on a strong backing and constructed into a pre-determined form, to cut patterns and shapes into the material. The mounted steel blades are pressed onto the material in order to cut the required shapes. Die-cutting is generally used for thinner gauge materials with less complicated trim specifications.
- Embossing: Polycarbonate films can be embossed using a heated metal die that has a raised design on its surface. Embossing involves pressing the heated die onto the film to create a raised or indented impression of the design. Embossing can add texture, depth, and visual appeal to the film.
- Thermoforming: Polycarbonate films can be thermoformed using heat and pressure to mold them into a desired shape. Thermoforming involves heating a sheet of polycarbonate film to its forming temperature and then pulling it over or pushing it into a mold with either vacuum or pressure. The formed part is then cooled, removed from the mold, and trimmed. Thermoforming can create complex shapes and contours with polycarbonate films.
Polycarbonate films can be bonded or laminated using various methods and materials. Some of the common ways are:
- Adhesive bonding: Polycarbonate films can be bonded using different types of adhesives, such as solvent-based, water-based, hot melt, pressure-sensitive, or UV-curable. Adhesive bonding involves applying a thin layer of adhesive to one or both surfaces of the films and then pressing them together. Adhesive bonding can provide a strong and durable bond that can resist heat, moisture, and chemicals.
- Heat sealing: Polycarbonate films can be bonded using heat and pressure to melt and fuse the films together. Heat sealing involves placing the films between two heated plates or rollers and applying pressure to create a seal. Heat sealing can provide a fast and easy bond that can withstand high temperatures and pressures.
- Ultrasonic welding: Polycarbonate films can be bonded using high-frequency sound waves to create friction and heat that melt and join the films together. Ultrasonic welding involves placing the films between two metal horns that vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies and apply pressure to create a weld. Ultrasonic welding can provide a clean and precise bond that can resist water, air, and dust.
- Lamination: Polycarbonate films can be laminated using different types of materials, such as glass, metal, paper, or other plastics. Lamination involves bonding a layer of material to one or both sides of the film to enhance its properties or appearance. Lamination can provide a protective and decorative coating that can improve the strength, stiffness, transparency, or functionality of the film. Lamination can be done using different techniques, such as roll lamination, flame lamination, or adhesive-free lamination.
Polycarbonate films can be cleaned and maintained using simple and gentle methods and materials. Some of the common ways are:
- Remove dust and dirt: Use a soft brush, a microfiber cloth, or a hair dryer to gently blow off any dust and dirt from the surface of the film. Avoid rubbing or wiping the film with a dry cloth, as this may scratch the film. You can also use compressed air to remove dust from hard-to-reach areas.
- Wash with lukewarm water and mild soap: Mix together your water and soap in a bucket and wash the film using a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the material. Make sure your soap has no harsh chemicals that could damage the film, such as alcohol, ammonia, or aromatics. Rinse the film thoroughly with clean water and let it air dry or use a soft cloth to pat it dry.
- Use a special cleaner: If the film is very dirty or stained, you can use a special cleaner designed for polycarbonate, such as Novus #1 or Brillianize. Spray the cleaner onto the film and wipe it gently with a soft cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners, solvents, or window cleaners, as they may damage the film.
- Polish with a soft cloth: If the film has minor scratches or scuffs, you can polish it with a soft cloth to restore its shine. You can also use a special polish for polycarbonate, such as Novus #2 or Brillianize Polish. Apply a small amount of polish to the cloth and rub it gently on the scratched area in a circular motion. Wipe off any excess polish with a clean cloth.
- Protect from UV rays: Polycarbonate films have natural UV protection, but they may still degrade over time if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. To prevent this, you can apply a UV-resistant coating or film to the surface of the polycarbonate. This will extend its lifespan and prevent yellowing or cracking.
Polycarbonate films can be stored and handled using simple and gentle methods and materials. Some of the common ways are:
- Store in a cool, dry, and dark place: Polycarbonate films should be stored away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and moisture. Ideally, they should be stored at a temperature of 10°C to 21°C and a relative humidity of 30% to 50%. They should also be protected from dust, dirt, and pollutants.
- Use protective enclosures: Polycarbonate films should be stored in suitable containers that provide physical support, light blocking, and dust prevention. They can be stored in cardboard boxes, metal cans, plastic cases, or archival envelopes. They can also be stored in PVC-free plastic sleeves or pages that can fit into binders or folders.
- Handle with care: Polycarbonate films should be handled with clean hands or gloves to avoid fingerprints, oils, or acids. They should also be handled by the edges and not by the surface to avoid scratches or abrasions. They should not be bent, folded, creased, or cut unless necessary.
- Avoid chemical exposure: Polycarbonate films should not be exposed to any chemicals that may damage them, such as alcohol, ammonia, aromatics, solvents, or acids. They should also not be cleaned with any harsh cleaners or abrasive materials. If cleaning is needed, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth.
To choose the right thickness and size of polycarbonate films for your project, you need to consider several factors, such as:
- The purpose and function of the film: Different applications may require different levels of strength, stiffness, flexibility, transparency, or durability. For example, if you need a film for a label or a graphic overlay, you may choose a thinner film with good printability and formability. If you need a film for a light fixture or a lens, you may choose a thicker film with good light management and optical properties. If you need a film for a security card or a bulletproof glass, you may choose a very thick film with high impact resistance and tamper evidence.
- The environmental conditions and exposure: Different environments may affect the performance and lifespan of the film. For example, if you need a film for an outdoor application, you may choose a film with good UV protection and weather resistance. If you need a film for a high-temperature application, you may choose a film with good heat resistance and thermal stability. If you need a film for a chemical application, you may choose a film with good chemical resistance and flame retardance.
- The processing and fabrication methods: Different methods may require different specifications of the film. For example, if you need to cut, die-cut, emboss, or thermoform the film, you may choose a film with good workability and dimensional stability. If you need to print, bond, or laminate the film, you may choose a film with good ink adhesion and surface finish.
Polycarbonate films are available in various sizes and thicknesses. The standard sizes are 24.5 in x 48.5 in or 48 in x 96 in. The standard thicknesses range from 0.005 in to 0.030 in for graphic/printable grade films; from 0.005 in to 0.060 in for light diffusing films; from 0.005 in to 0.125 in for flame retardant films; and from 0.005 in to 0.250 in for scratch resistant films. You can also order custom sizes and thicknesses depending on your needs.
To test the quality and performance of polycarbonate films, you need to use various methods and standards depending on the properties and parameters you want to measure. Some of the common methods and standards are:
- Thickness: The thickness of polycarbonate films can be measured using different techniques, such as micrometers, calipers, optical gauges, or capacitance gauges. The thickness can also be calculated using the density, weight, and cross-sectional area of a piece of film using gauge-by-weight. The standard methods for measuring thickness include ASTM D374, ASTM D6988, ISO 4593, and ISO 534.
- Optical: The optical properties of polycarbonate films, such as transparency, haze, gloss, refractive index, or color, can be measured using different instruments, such as spectrophotometers, colorimeters, gloss meters, or refractometers. The standard methods for measuring optical properties include ASTM D1003, ASTM D523, ASTM D2457, ASTM D542, and ISO 13468.
- Mechanical: The mechanical properties of polycarbonate films, such as tensile strength, elongation, flexural strength, impact strength, or hardness, can be measured using different machines, such as universal testing machines, impact testers, or durometers. The standard methods for measuring mechanical properties include ASTM D882, ASTM D790, ASTM D256, ASTM D2240, and ISO 527.
- Thermal: The thermal properties of polycarbonate films, such as melting point, glass transition temperature, heat deflection temperature, or coefficient of thermal expansion, can be measured using different techniques, such as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), thermal mechanical analysis (TMA), or dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The standard methods for measuring thermal properties include ASTM D3418, ASTM E831, ASTM D648, and ISO 11357 .
- Electrical: The electrical properties of polycarbonate films, such as dielectric constant, dielectric strength, dissipation factor, or surface resistivity, can be measured using different instruments, such as LCR meters, megohmmeters, or high-voltage testers. The standard methods for measuring electrical properties include ASTM D150, ASTM D149, ASTM D257, and IEC 60243 .
- Chemical: The chemical properties of polycarbonate films, such as chemical resistance, flammability, or fogging, can be measured using different methods, such as immersion tests, burn tests, or fogging tests. The standard methods for measuring chemical properties include ASTM D543, ASTM D635, UL 94, SAE J1756, and ISO 4892 .
The price ranges of polycarbonate films depend on various factors, such as the brand, grade, thickness, size, quantity, and quality of the films. The price ranges also vary depending on the source, location, and currency of the purchase. Therefore, it is difficult to give a definitive answer to this question. But in Kusla, a sheet of polycarbonate film with a size of 24.5 in x 48.5 in and a thickness of 0.005 in costs from $2.00 to $3.00 per sheet.
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