Polycarbonate

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Polycarbonate 2016-12-06T05:35:24+00:00

Polycarbonate

The first polycarbonate feeding bottles were introduced in 1988 Polycarbonate feeding bottles Polycarbonate enabled the introduction of CDs in 1982
Mould for chocolate chess pieces c1990 Motor cylce helmet in polycarbonate Single serve teapot by Tetley 1996

The term ‘polycarbonate’ derives from the polymer chain repeat carbonate unit and the polymers are in effect polyester derivatives of carbonic acid.

The starting material for polycarbonate plastics is bisphenol A, first synthesized at the University of Marburg, Germany, in 1905. This dihydric phenol was used independently by Dr Herman Schnell at Bayer, Krefeld-Uerdingen in Germany and Dr Daniel Fox of General Electric in the USA in 1953 to develop processes for manufacturing the new polymer material.

Significant industrial production began in 1958 and growth in the volume and types of application rapidly followed. Important properties include strength, toughness, rigidity, excellent optical and electrical insulation coupled with heat and environmental stability.

Polycarbonate is often employed for its high resistance to impact and is familiar as vandal resistant glazing and the material used for CDs since their introduction in 1982. Other important uses include safety helmets, chocolate moulds, casings for domestic and office equipment, baby feeding bottles and medical equipment.