Polycarbonate Rod

Polycarbonate rods are semi-transparent thermoplastic materials that exhibit high impact resistance, good machinability, and excellent electrical properties. They are lighter than glass and more dimensionally stable than acrylic over a wide temperature range. They can be used for various industrial applications that require durability and transparency.

Kusla supplies customed Polycarbonate Rods in different sizes and colors.

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Polycarbonate Rod Specification

DiameterOutside Diameter: 0.125 in – 8 in
GradesMachine, Glass-Filled, Print Grade, General Purpose, Food Grade, FDA Compliant (Non UV Stabilized), Low Flammability, Flame Inhibiting, Class A Fire Rating, Sign Grade, Abrasion Resistant (AR 2), Light Diffusing, UV Resistant, IR Blocking, Containment Grade, Bullet Resistant, Optical, FMVSS Compliant, Antimicrobial
Types and ColorsClear, Natural, Black

Typical Properties of Polycarbonate

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°F240
Water absorption (immersion 24 hours)%D5700.15
Coefficient of linear thermal expansionin/in/°Fx10-5D6963.8

Choose Polycarbonate Rod For Your Program

why KUSLA Plastic Polycarbonate Rod

  • Exceptional Strength: withstanding heavy loads and high impact without cracking.
  • Excellent Impact Resistance: ensuring long-lasting performance.
  • UV Stability: resisting yellowing or degradation from sunlight exposure.
  • Versatile Applications: wide applications in construction, manufacturing, signage, and DIY projects.
  • Lightweight:making them easy to handle and install.
  • High Optical Clarity: excellent light transmission for applications requiring optical clarity.
  • Easy Machining: easily machined and fabricated for customized projects.
  • Chemical Resistance: resistant to various chemicals and harsh environments.
  • Electrical Insulation: good electrical insulation properties.
  • Longevity: long service life, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions about Polycarbonate rod

A Polycarbonate rod is a cylindrical-shaped solid rod made from polycarbonate, a durable and versatile thermoplastic material. Polycarbonate rods exhibit high impact resistance, excellent clarity, and good mechanical properties. They are known for their strength, dimensional stability, and resistance to extreme temperatures. Polycarbonate rods are commonly used in various industries for applications such as structural support, electrical insulation, machining components, DIY projects, and more. They are available in different sizes, diameters, and lengths to suit specific requirements.

Yes, polycarbonate rods have inherent UV resistance. Polycarbonate is known for its excellent UV stability, which means it can withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight without significant degradation or yellowing. This UV resistance makes polycarbonate rods suitable for outdoor applications where exposure to sunlight is a concern. However, it’s important to note that prolonged exposure to UV radiation can still cause some degree of surface degradation over an extended period. To enhance the UV protection and prolong the lifespan of polycarbonate rods, it is recommended to use UV-coated or UV-stabilized variants specifically designed for outdoor use.

Yes, polycarbonate rods have a high heat resistance compared to many other plastics. They can typically withstand temperatures ranging from -40°C to 120°C (-40°F to 248°F) without significant deformation or loss of mechanical properties. However, it’s important to note that the specific heat resistance of polycarbonate rods can vary depending on the grade and formulation of the material. Higher temperature variants are available for applications requiring even greater heat resistance. Additionally, it’s important to consider factors such as load, duration of exposure, and potential thermal expansion when using polycarbonate rods in high-temperature environments.

Polycarbonate rods are known for their exceptional strength and toughness. They are significantly stronger than materials like acrylic and PVC, and have a higher impact resistance compared to glass. The specific strength of polycarbonate rods can vary depending on their diameter and wall thickness. However, in general, polycarbonate rods have a high tensile strength and can withstand significant loads without breaking or deforming. This makes them suitable for various applications where strength and durability are essential, such as in construction, engineering, and manufacturing industries.

Yes, Polycarbonate rods can be used outdoors. They are highly resistant to weathering and can withstand exposure to sunlight, rain, and extreme temperatures. Polycarbonate is known for its excellent UV resistance, which means that the material does not degrade or become brittle when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods. This makes Polycarbonate rods a suitable choice for outdoor applications such as signage, awnings, protective barriers, and construction components. Their durability and resistance to environmental factors make them a reliable option for outdoor use.

To clean a polycarbonate rod, you can follow these steps:

  1. Rinse: Start by rinsing the rod with clean water to remove any loose debris or dust particles.
  2. Prepare cleaning solution: In a bucket, mix a mild detergent or dish soap with warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the surface of the rod.
  3. Clean with a soft cloth or sponge: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently wipe the surface of the polycarbonate rod. Use gentle, circular motions to remove dirt, stains, or smudges.
  4. Rinse again: After cleaning, rinse the rod thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  5. Dry: Use a clean, lint-free cloth to dry the rod. Ensure that it is completely dry before storing or using it.

Note: Avoid using abrasive materials, brushes, or rough cloths that can scratch or damage the surface of the polycarbonate rod. Also, refrain from using ammonia-based cleaners or solvents as they can cause yellowing or hazing of the material.

Yes, polycarbonate rods are known for their excellent impact resistance. Polycarbonate is a highly durable material that can withstand strong impacts without breaking or shattering. It is approximately 200 times stronger than glass, making it a popular choice for applications where impact resistance is essential. Polycarbonate rods can withstand accidental drops, heavy loads, and other mechanical stresses, making them suitable for various industries and applications that require a high level of impact resistance.

Bending polycarbonate rods can be achieved through a process called heat bending. Here’s a general guide on how to bend polycarbonate rods:

  1. Select the appropriate tools: You will need a heat source (such as a heat gun or a strip heater), heat-resistant gloves, and a bending jig or form to shape the rod.
  2. Prepare the work area: Ensure you have a clean and well-ventilated workspace. Remove any flammable materials from the area.
  3. Heat the polycarbonate rod: Hold the heat source at a safe distance from the rod and slowly move it back and forth along the section you wish to bend. Apply heat evenly to the entire area until the polycarbonate becomes pliable. Be careful not to overheat or scorch the rod.
  4. Shape the rod: Once the polycarbonate is heated and soft, carefully position it in the bending jig or form. Use the form to shape the rod into the desired curve or angle. Hold the rod in place until it cools down and retains the new shape.
  5. Allow it to cool: Let the polycarbonate rod cool down completely before removing it from the bending jig. Cooling may take several minutes, depending on the thickness and length of the rod.
  6. Test the bend: Once cooled, check the bend for accuracy and adjust if needed. Ensure the rod has retained the desired shape before using it in your application.

Polycarbonate rods have a wide range of applications across various industries due to their favorable characteristics. Here are some typical applications of polycarbonate rods:

  1. Industrial machinery: Polycarbonate rods are used in the construction of machine components, such as gears, bearings, rollers, and bushings, due to their excellent mechanical strength and wear resistance.
  2. Electrical and electronics: Polycarbonate rods are employed in electrical insulators, connectors, and housings for their electrical insulation properties, high dielectric strength, and resistance to heat and chemicals.
  3. Automotive industry: Polycarbonate rods find applications in the automotive sector for manufacturing components like handles, knobs, dashboards, interior trim, and light housings due to their impact resistance, lightweight nature, and ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions.
  4. Signage and displays: Polycarbonate rods are used to create support structures, frames, and display stands for signs, banners, and retail displays due to their durability, transparency, and ease of fabrication.
  5. Construction and architecture: Polycarbonate rods are employed in construction projects for structural glazing, curtain walls, skylights, and canopies, offering high impact resistance, weatherability, and transparency.
  6. DIY and craft projects: Polycarbonate rods are popular in DIY and craft applications, including model building, sculpture, and art installations, due to their ease of cutting, shaping, and versatility.
  7. Medical devices: Polycarbonate rods are used in the manufacturing of medical equipment and devices like surgical instruments, dental tools, orthopedic supports, and prosthetics due to their biocompatibility, sterilization compatibility, and strength.
  8. Marine and aquatic applications: Polycarbonate rods are suitable for marine environments and are used in boat accessories, watercraft fittings, and aquarium equipment due to their resistance to water, salt, and UV radiation.
  9. Aerospace industry: Polycarbonate rods find applications in aerospace for various components like instrument panels, cabin interiors, and structural parts, thanks to their lightweight nature, strength, and fire-resistant properties.
  10. Sports and recreational equipment: Polycarbonate rods are utilized in the production of sporting goods, including fishing rods, archery equipment, protective gear, and outdoor equipment, due to their durability and impact resistance.

To cut a polycarbonate rod to specific sizes, follow these steps:

  1. Measure and mark: Use a measuring tape to determine the desired length of the polycarbonate rod. Mark the cutting point with a marker or a scribe. Ensure your measurements are precise.
  2. Select the cutting tool: Polycarbonate rods can be cut using various tools such as a hacksaw, circular saw, table saw, or bandsaw. Choose a tool that is appropriate for the thickness of the rod and provides the level of precision required.
  3. Secure the rod: Place the polycarbonate rod in a vice or clamp to hold it securely. Ensure that the marked cutting point is positioned just outside the jaws of the vice or clamp to prevent damage to the rod.
  4. Cutting technique: Align the cutting tool with the marked cutting point. Apply gentle, steady pressure while cutting through the rod. Keep the blade or cutting edge perpendicular to the rod to achieve a straight and clean cut. For thicker rods, it may be necessary to make multiple passes to complete the cut.
  5. Support the rod: To prevent the rod from cracking or splintering during the cutting process, support the area being cut. You can use a block of wood or a support jig to provide additional stability and reduce vibrations.
  6. Check the cut: Once the cut is made, inspect the end of the polycarbonate rod to ensure it is clean and even. If necessary, use sandpaper or a file to smooth any rough edges or burrs.
  7. Clean and deburr: After cutting, clean the cut end of the rod using a soft cloth or a mild solvent to remove any debris or particles generated during the cutting process. If there are any sharp edges or burrs, carefully smooth them with sandpaper or a deburring tool.

Yes, polycarbonate rods have excellent electrical insulation properties. Polycarbonate is known for its high dielectric strength and low electrical conductivity, making it an ideal material for electrical insulation applications. It can effectively insulate against electrical current and provide protection against electrical shocks. Polycarbonate rods are often used in electrical and electronics industries where insulation is crucial, such as in circuit boards, electrical enclosures, and insulating supports.

Polycarbonate rods offer several advantages compared to other types of plastic rods. Here is a comparison:

  1. Strength: Polycarbonate rods have high impact strength and are more durable than many other plastic rods, such as PVC or acrylic. They can withstand heavy loads and are resistant to cracking or breaking.
  2. Transparency: Polycarbonate rods have excellent optical clarity and transparency. They allow for high light transmission, making them suitable for applications where visibility or transparency is required.
  3. Temperature resistance: Polycarbonate rods have a high heat deflection temperature, allowing them to withstand elevated temperatures without deformation. They can handle both high and low temperature environments effectively.
  4. Chemical resistance: Polycarbonate rods have good resistance to many chemicals, including oils, acids, and solvents. They are less prone to chemical damage or degradation compared to some other plastics.
  5. UV resistance: Polycarbonate rods are naturally UV resistant. They can withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight without yellowing, fading, or losing their mechanical properties.
  6. Machinability: Polycarbonate rods are easy to machine and fabricate. They can be cut, drilled, milled, and shaped using common tools and techniques, allowing for customization and precise sizing.
  7. Electrical insulation: Polycarbonate rods have excellent electrical insulation properties, making them suitable for electrical applications where insulation is required.

Yes, Polycarbonate rods are commonly used in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects due to their versatility and ease of use. Here are some reasons why Polycarbonate rods are suitable for DIY projects:

  1. Easy to work with: Polycarbonate rods can be easily cut, drilled, and shaped using basic tools commonly found in DIY workshops. This allows for customization and adaptation to specific project requirements.
  2. Lightweight: Polycarbonate rods are lightweight, making them easy to handle and manipulate during DIY projects. This makes them suitable for applications where weight is a concern or when working with overhead installations.
  3. Durable: Polycarbonate rods have high impact strength and are resistant to breakage, making them suitable for DIY projects that require durability and longevity. They can withstand accidental drops or impacts without cracking or breaking.
  4. Versatile applications: Polycarbonate rods have a wide range of applications in DIY projects. They can be used for structural support, mounting brackets, handles, spacers, and many other functional and decorative elements.
  5. Transparent option: Polycarbonate rods offer excellent transparency, allowing for the creation of visually appealing DIY projects where visibility or light transmission is desired. They can be used in applications such as light fixtures, display stands, or artistic installations.
  6. Cost-effective: Polycarbonate rods are relatively affordable compared to other materials, such as metal or glass. This makes them a cost-effective choice for DIY enthusiasts looking for high-quality materials without breaking the budget.

Polycarbonate rods are not typically recommended for direct food contact applications. While Polycarbonate itself is considered food-safe, there are certain factors to consider:

  1. Chemical migration: Polycarbonate may release small amounts of bisphenol A (BPA) when in contact with hot liquids or acidic foods. BPA is a chemical compound that has raised concerns regarding its potential health effects. Therefore, for applications involving direct food contact, it is advisable to choose food-grade materials that do not contain BPA.
  2. Surface considerations: Polycarbonate rods may have a smooth surface that can be difficult to clean thoroughly, especially in food preparation or handling environments. The presence of scratches or grooves on the surface can provide a breeding ground for bacteria, potentially compromising food safety.

Given these considerations, it is generally recommended to opt for specific food-grade materials that are specifically designed and certified for food contact applications. These materials undergo rigorous testing and meet regulatory standards to ensure safety and compatibility with food.


A comparison table highlighting the differences between polycarbonate and acrylic rods:

Polycarbonate RodAcrylic Rod
Material CompositionMade of polycarbonate, a thermoplastic polymerMade of acrylic, a thermoplastic polymer
TransparencyTransparent with excellent light transmissionTransparent with excellent light transmission
Impact ResistanceHighly impact-resistant, virtually unbreakableLess impact-resistant, more prone to cracking or breaking
UV ResistanceExcellent UV resistance, suitable for outdoor useSusceptible to UV degradation over time, may require UV protective coatings for outdoor use
Temperature ResistanceCan withstand high temperatures up to 250°F (121°C)Limited temperature resistance, can warp or deform at high temperatures
MachinabilityRelatively easy to machine and fabricateEasy to machine and fabricate
Chemical ResistanceResistant to many chemicals and solventsModerate resistance to chemicals, can be affected by certain solvents
CostGenerally more expensive than acrylicGenerally more affordable than polycarbonate

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