Polycarbonate (PC), is a high-performance material, sustainable and eco-friendly and is used in a wide variety of everyday applications. It has a unique combination of properties: offers transparency, durability, safety, versatility, as well as
heat and impact resistance. Polycarbonate products include roofs and car headlights, optical supports, spectacle lenses, medical devices, articles for the spare time and materials in contact with food.
Polycarbonate was discovered in 1953 by Dr. H. Schnell of the Bayer Company. It was initially used for electrical and electronic applications such as distributors and fuses, displays
and connections for greenhouses glasses and public buildings. The outstanding combination of beneficial characteristics have made within a very short time, the polycarbonate ideal for many other applications. In 1982, the first audio CD
was introduced which rapidly replaced pre-recorded music cassette. Within 10 years all the technology of optical media leaned towards the CD-ROM. Five years later the first DVD was developed which was quickly followed by the Blu-ray technology. All of these optical systems of data recording depend on polycarbonate. By the mid ‘80s, polycarbonate began to replace glass in the construction of 18 liter water
containers for refrigerators thanks to its greater lightness and lower fragility. These bottles, lightweight and shockresistant,
can now be found in many public buildings and offices. Automotive headlights made of polycarbonate, already used in the United States since the end of 1980, were approved in Europe in 1992. Twenty years later, most European cars were equipped with polycarbonate headlights.
Polycarbonate allows the making of high-performance technical products in many shapes and sophisticated sizes. The quality of life and increased security and convenience has been improved to users and consumers all over the world.
Its main advantages are:
• High durability: The polycarbonate is an extremely resistant material. This makes the material good when product life and performance reliability are fundamental.
• Impact resistance: it is virtually indestructible. Through its high impact resistance, greater comfort and safety are provided for applications where reliability and high performance are essential.
• Transparency: it is an extremely clear plastic material, offering excellent visibility and transmits light better than alternative materials.
• Lightness: the low density of polycarbonate allows for architectural creativity and design. This leads to a greater resource efficiency and a reduction in environmentaland financial costs fortransport.
• Thermo-stability: The polycarbonate provides excellent resistance to heat, making hygienic conditions during cleaning at higher temperatures easier.
• Innovative potential: the performance of polycarbonate are being continually improved. Through scientific and technical innovation new applications and product benefits can be offered, enabling the development in all market sectors and providing consumers with services and additional benefits.
These features make the polycarbonate suitable for many applications, including:
• Automotive: Chambers of the rear-view mirrors, rear lights, indicators, fog lamps, headlights etc are all made from polycarbonate.
• Packaging: Molded bottles and containers that can withstand extreme stress during the use and the cleaning, including sterilization are all made from polycarbonate. Can be used for serving, freezing and reheating food in the microwave. Unbreakable and virtually indestructible, the polycarbonate is a safe alternative to glass.
• Electrical household appliances and consumables: them olding flexibility of polycarbonate and the possibility of different coloring make it perfect for electric kettles, refrigerators, blenders, electric shavers and hair dryers, meeting all safety requirements such as heat resistance and electrical insulation.
• Electrical & Electronics: it is used to produce bodies of mobile phones, computers, fax machines and tablets, thanks to its light weight, aesthetic quality, resistance to impact, shock, scratches and accidental drops. The processing advantages, combined with the excellent
mechanical and physical properties, make the polycarbonate an exceptional polymer: the ideal material for many products of high quality and durability.
The objects in polycarbonate are 100% recyclable, both mechanically and for energy in incineration plants. The most appropriate recovery options depend on several conditions. These include local law, the access to separation facilities, regional logistics and recycling costs