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Polycarbonate (PC)

PC is an otherwise-unclassified thermoplastic material.

The properties of PC include four common variations. The property values on this page show ranges across all of them. For more specific values, follow the links immediately below. The graph bars on the material properties cards further below compare PC to: otherwise unclassified thermoplastics (top), all thermoplastics (middle), and the entire database (bottom). The length of each bar shows the given value as a % of the largest value in the relevant set.

Mechanical Properties

Elongation at Break

3.5 to 110 %

Flexural Modulus

2.3 to 10 GPa 0.33 to 1.5 x 106 psi

Flexural Strength

92 to 160 MPa 13 to 22 x 103 psi

Impact Strength: Notched Izod

140 to 440 J/m 2.6 to 8.2 ft-lb/in

Rockwell M Hardness

68 to 120

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

66 to 160 MPa 9.5 to 22 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Glass Transition Temperature

150 °C 300 °F

Heat Deflection Temperature At 1.82 MPa (264 psi)

130 to 150 °C 270 to 290 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

1000 to 1200 J/kg-K 0.24 to 0.29 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Expansion

10 to 69 µm/m-K

Otherwise Unclassified Properties


1.2 to 1.4 g/cm3 75 to 90 lb/ft3

Water Absorption At Saturation

0.16 to 0.19 %

Common Calculations

Strength to Weight: Axial

15 to 30 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

30 to 45 points

Followup Questions

Further Reading

ASTM D883: Standard Terminology Relating to Plastics

SPI Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., 5th ed., Michael L. Berins (editor), 2000

Modern Plastics Handbook, Charles A. Harper (editor), 1999

Plastics Materials, 7th ed., J. A. Brydson, 1999