Polycarbonate

At a Glance

Process

Lead Time

Colors

Tolerance

Price

Applications

3 days
Clear, black
ISO 2768
$
Light pipes, transparent parts, heat-resistant applications

About the Material

Polycarbonate (known also by the abbreviation PC) is one of the most common plastics used in manufacturing. Famous examples of the material are first-generation MacBook laptops, safety goggles, and optical disks.

Polycarbonate is heat-resistant, impact-resistant, flame-retardant, and one of the most recycled plastics in the world.

Material Properties

Tensile Strength

Elongation at Break

Hardness

Density

Maximum
Temp

McMaster Part Number

8,000 PSI
110%
Rockwell R120
1.246 g/㎤
0.045 lbs / cu. in.
180° F

Material Finish

Polycarbonate has a transparent milky-blue look in its natural state, but is also available in black. Both colors have a glossy finish, and are relatively prone to scratches. Anti-scratch coatings and vapor polishing are available as custom post-processing finishes; contact us for more information.

Design Recommendations

Min Wall Thickness

Min End Mill Size

Min Drill Size

Max Part Size

Undercuts

Radii : Depth

0.5 mm
0.8 mm
(0.03 in)
0.5 mm
(0.02 in)
1200 x 500 x 152 mm[(x,y,z] (mill) 
152 x 394 mm 
[d,h] (lathe)
Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles
Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter.
For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x drill bit diameter.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

Related Resources

Engineer's Guide to CNC Machining for Prototyping Hardware
Fictiv CNC Material Datasheet