Polycarbonate (PC)

PC (Polycarbonate) is a high performance, sustainable and eco-efficient material used in a large variety of everyday applications. It has a unique combination of properties, offering clarity, durability, safety, versatility, as well as heat and shatter resistance. Products made from polycarbonate include sheets for roofing and glazing, optical media, IT-parts, spectacle lenses, medical devices, leisure articles and food contact materials. These products contribute substantially to the safety and well-being of consumers.

More Information on polycarbonate


  • History

    In 1953, polycarbonate was discovered independently by Dr. H. Schnell of Bayer AG, Germany and by D. W. Fox of General Electric Company, USA. It has been used in commercial applications since the late 50's.

    Polycarbonate was initially used for electrical and electronic applications such as distributor and fuse boxes, displays and plug connections and glazing for greenhouses and public buildings. Soon polycarbonate’s outstanding combination of beneficial characteristics made it the material of choice for many other applications.

    In 1982, the first audio-CD was introduced to the market, quickly replacing audio tapes. Within 10 years optical media technology included CD-ROMs. Five years later the first DVDs were released and were quickly followed by Bluray technology. All these optical data storage systems depend on polycarbonate.

    Since the mid 1980´s, 18 litre water bottles made of polycarbonate and placed on water coolers have increasingly replaced heavy and fragile glass bottles. These light-weight and shatter resistant bottles can now be found in many public buildings and offices.

    Already used in the USA since the end of the 1980´s, automotive headlamps made of polycarbonate became authorised in Europe in 1992. Twenty years later, most European cars are equipped with polycarbonate headlamps.
  • Properties

  • Applications

  • Processes

  • Recycling and recovery


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