Deciding whether you need acrylic plexiglass sheeting or polycarbonate sheeting for a project is half the battle. So how do you decide what kind of polycarbonate sheeting you need for a project with the large number of varieties available? We’re here to help.
Overall, polycarbonate sheets are stronger than plexiglass, have a higher level of impact and chemical resistance, and can be drilled without cracking. These benefits cover all specialty polycarbonate too, but the qualities are often enhanced.
One of the most beneficial specialty polycarbonate sheets available is antistatic polycarbonate. Also known as electrostatic dissipative (ESD) polycarbonate, this plastic sheeting is coated with a mixture of metal and plastic to prevent static electricity from generating. Antistatic polycarbonate is a popular choice in applications for manufacturing and assembly of electronics such as conveyor line covers, room partitions, and other environments here sparks can result in an explosion. ESD polycarbonate also prevents the buildup of contaminants which can cause static charges. The coating that makes the polycarbonate sheeting have electrostatic dissipative properties does not impact the clarity of the plastic making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Abrasion Resistant Polycarbonate
Traditional polycarbonate sheets have impact resistance, however, can be easily scratched. With abrasion resistant polycarbonate, you can have the impact resistance of polycarbonate with the abrasion resistance of glass. In addition to improved resistance to scratches, AR polycarbonate has improved UV resistance, preventing the discoloration and yellowing of polycarbonate sheeting in direct sunlight. This specialty polycarbonate sheet features a coating technology that results in a large reduction of maintenance cost and liability risk. Abrasion resistant polycarbonate is commonly used in schools, hospitals and bus shelters.
Bullet Resistant Polycarbonate
When traditional polycarbonate sheeting is hit with a bullet, there is a great chance of shattering, leading to a dangerous clean-up. Bullet resistant polycarbonate and containment grade polycarbonate are specially made to protect against forced entry and ballistic impact. BR polycarbonate will not shatter or form spider webs upon impact. This type of polycarbonate is a great alternative to bullet-proof glass as it stronger and less expensive. Bullet resistant polycarbonate is used in applications such as a bank, jewelry shop, or prison.
Fire Rated Polycarbonate
Another popular specialty polycarbonate sheet is fire rated or flame retardant polycarbonate. Fire rated polycarbonate suppresses flames and the chance of fire when used with electrical applications. Fire rated polycarbonate is also called low flammability (LF) polycarbonate and is stronger than both glass and plexiglass sheeting. Common applications of fire rated polycarbonate include switchgear covers, electrical devices, aircraft carrier components, and more.
FDA Approved Plastics
For applications where there are strict guidelines to meet such as those in food preparation, FDA approved polycarbonate is the plastic sheeting solution you need. FDA polycarbonate is certified to NSF/ANSI standards and meets all FDA regulations for using polycarbonate in sensitive applications. This specialty sheeting features superior heat resistance, high impact strength, and a close gauge tolerance, however, it is not UV stabilized. FDA polycarbonate is typically found not only in kitchens, but for bowls, hospital trays, and more. FDA approved plastics are the only glazing and plastic material certified for sensitive applications.
No matter the application you need polycarbonate sheeting for, there is a specialty sheeting that was made for it. With traditional polycarbonate sheets having superior strength, clarity and impact resistance, you can expect that with specialty sheeting as well. If you are interested in any of our specialty sheets including anti-static sheet or FDA polycarbonate, call your partner in plastics at (888) 702-6028 today!