Polycarbonate (PC) is a thermoplastic material which can be blow moulded, extruded, injection moulded and thermoformed. This hard, rigid and extremely strong material offers high impact resistance and excellent optical qualities. It is available in a range of speciality grades such as flame retardant, according to the application requirements.
Although its discovery dates back to 1898 it was not until the late 1950s that it had been sufficiently developed both by Bayer and GEC that commercial production of polycarbonate began. It is one of the fastest growing engineering plastics.
It is commonly employed as casings for domestic and office equipment, safety helmets, goggles and lighting and notably as the casing for early iMacs. Its sparkling clarity also lends itself to use in high quality decorative objects. It has been used for CDs since their introduction in 1982.
Industrial recycling of polycarbonate is a process which is still in development.