The Commonly used Transparent Materials PC and PMMA

Dec 01, 2019

PC and PMMA are two commonly used transparent material for CNC machining. In appearance, the difference between the two types of prototypes are not obvious, but the transparency is not the same actually. Now let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the two materials.

Polycarbonate (PC)
PC is the abbreviation of Polycarbonate, it’s an almost colorless glassy amorphous polymer with good optical properties. PC high molecular weight resins have high toughness and temperatures are approximately 130 °C.

• High strength and elastic modulus, high impact strength and wide range of temperature. 
• High transparency and free dyeability.  
• Low forming shrinkage, good dimensional stability.
• Good fatigue resistance.  
• Excellent weatherability.  
• Excellent electrical characteristics.  
• Tasteless and odorless, harmless to the human body, in line with health standard.

cnc turning brass prototype

The main performance defects are insufficient hydrolysis resistance, sensitivity to the notch, poor scratch resistance, and it’s easy to getting yellowing when exposed to ultraviolet light for a long time. Like other resins, PC is susceptible to immersion by certain organic solvents.

Optical illumination
It is used in the manufacture of large lampshades, protective glass, optical instrument eyepieces etc. It can also be widely used as a transparent material on aircraft.

Electronic appliances
Polycarbonate is an excellent insulating material used in the manufacture of insulated connectors, coil frames, pipe sockets, bushings, telephone housings and parts, and battery cases for miner's lamps. It can also be used to make parts with high dimensional accuracy, such as optical discs, telephones, electronic computers, video recorders, signal relays and other communication equipment. Polycarbonate films are also widely used as capacitors, insulating bags, audio tapes, color video tapes, and more on.

Mechanical equipment
Used in the manufacture of various gears, worm gears, bearings, bolts, levers, crankshafts, as well as parts such as mechanical equipment housings, covers and frames.

Medical equipment
Cups, cans, bottles, and dental instruments, drug containers, and surgical instruments that can be used for medical purposes, and even artificial organs such as artificial kidneys and artificial lungs.

PC in the construction field is used as a greenhouse glass, etc.; for daily use, it is used for bottles, tableware, toys, models, LED lamp housings and mobile phone casings.


cnc turning brass prototype

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), also called Acrylic or organic glass, Lucite (trade name), is an important optical plastic. It has good overall performance and optical properties, transparency comparable to optical glass. It can hardly absorb the full-band light of visible light, the light transmittance is more than 91% with good gloss, strong lightness and good molding processability, the chemical resistance and weather resistance are outstanding. The disadvantage is that the surface hardness is low which is easy to scratch and expand by absorbing water.

Acrylic is mainly used in the construction industry for architectural lighting, transparent roofs, roofs, telephone booths, stairs and room wall panels; sanitary wares include bathtubs, washbasins, dressing tables and other products. The application development of highways, high-grade road lighting covers and automotive lamps is also quite fast. Among them, the market for building lighting, bathtubs, street advertising light boxes and telephone booths has grown rapidly. It`s has lager space for developing in the future as well as the market prospects are very broad.

Our CNC machining is compatible with a wide range of materials, from plastic to metal, working with multiple grades of steel, stainless steel and aluminum, as well as copper and brass, plastic material include ABS, POM, Acrylic, PC, PMMA and more on.
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