CNC machining materials

Polycarbonate CNC Machining

If you are seeking a reliable supplier to manufacture your Polycarbonate products or to outsource your CNC machining demands, Anpllocnc may have the right answers for your crucial needs. With years of experience in CNC processing plastics, metals, and diverse materials, there are not too big or complex projects for Anpllocnc, and we are delighted to face challenges that other machine shops cannot deal with. Working with a wealth of materials, we have created numerous polycarbonate CNC machined parts, polycarbonate milled parts, polycarbonate turned parts, and more through our advanced and efficient CNC machining technologies including CNC milling Polycarbonate, CNC turning Polycarbonate, CNC drilling Polycarbonate, etc.

CNC Machining Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate (PC) refers to a class of polymers whose macromolecular chains are composed of carbonate-type repeating structural units. It has outstanding impact resistance, good creep resistance and dimensional stability, heat resistance, low water absorption, non-toxicity, and excellent dielectric properties. It is the only product with good transparency among the five major engineering plastics, and it is also the product with the fastest growth rate in recent years. Fast general-purpose engineering plastics.

Machining PC materials are mainly PC sheets and PC rods, which are very suitable for polycarbonate CNC machining services and polycarbonate CNC turning services.

As a widely used plastic material for CNC processing, polycarbonate has outstanding impact resistance, good creep resistance and dimensional stability, heat resistance, low water absorption, non-toxic, excellent dielectric properties, and good machining performance, which makes CNC machining polycarbonate a preferred material for many industries. PC machined parts are widely used in automotive, electrical and electronic, construction, office equipment, packaging, sports equipment, medical care and other fields. Our CNC polycarbonate machining services includes polycarbonate CNC machining,polycarbonate machining turning,surface treatment of polycarbonate parts, etc.

Polycarbonate cnc machining
Processes Lead Time Colors Tolerance Price Applications
CNC Mill CNC Lathe As fast as 3 days Clear, black and glossy With drawing: as low as +/- 0.005 mm No drawing: ISO 2768 medium $ Light pipes, transparent parts, heat-resistant applications

What is Polycarbonate plastic?

Polycarbonate, one of the oldest known polymers, was first discovered in 1898 by Alfred Einhorn at the University of Munich. It was not until 1953 that Bayer patented the first linear polycarbonate and branded it as “Makrolon”. Ever since then, this material has become one of the most commonly used polymers across multiple industries.

Polycarbonate (PC) is one of the fastest growing engineering plastics, with global demand exceeding 1.5 million tons.Not only is PC tough with excellent impact strength, it is easily machined, molded and thermoformed.It has good electrical properties as well as high impact resistance that will withstand extreme temperatures.
Due to its amorphous nature and low crystallinity, PC plastic is highly transparent to visible light, with better light transmission than many types of glass.Polycarbonate is a mid-price range thermoplastic and is therefore popular as a versatile option for a variety of applications.
Polycarbonate has good machinability, allowing close tolerances without great difficulty. We use very sharp uncoated tools. Good clamping is also essential and certain coolants need to be avoided.

Known for its durability, stability and clarity, polycarbonate is commonly found in car lighting systems, shatter-proof windows and “glass parts” replacement in aerospace applications like military fighter jet canopies, as well as laboratory lenses, heat-loaded plastic parts, electric circuits and other electrical applications.

Mechanical properties

Density: 1.18-1.22 g/cm3 Linear expansion: 3.8×10-5 cm/°C Heat deflection temperature: 135°C Low temperature -45°C

Polycarbonate is colorless and transparent, heat resistant, impact resistant, flame retardant BI grade, and has good mechanical properties within the common use temperature. Compared with the performance close to polymethyl methacrylate, polycarbonate has good impact resistance, high refractive index, good processing performance, and UL94 V-2 level flame retardant performance without additives. However, polymethyl methacrylate is less expensive compared to polycarbonate and can be produced in large devices by ontogenic polymerization.

The abrasion resistance of materials is relative, and when comparing ABS materials with PC materials, the abrasion resistance of PC materials is better. However, compared to most plastic materials, polycarbonate is relatively poor in abrasion resistance and is in the middle to lower level, so some polycarbonate devices used for wear and tear applications require special treatment of the surface.

Our turnkey polycarbonate machining and fabrication services

  • Engineering, including CAD/CAM, product and tooling design
  • Assistance with material selection
  • Complete precision fabricating and CNC machining services, including thermoforming, CNC milling, vacuum forming, drilling, laser cutting, die-cutting, grinding, bending, CNC turning, and welding
  • Precision tolerances to +/-0.005”
  • Sizes from small, intricate parts and large parts
  • Quantities from prototypes through full production runs
  • In-process quality inspections and testing of finished parts prior to delivery
  • Certifications to meet industry standards, including MIL specs, AMS standards, or RoHs compliance

Anpllocnc Industrial Plastics uses the latest technologies and highest quality standards, supported by superior customer service to provide each customer with a finished part that meets or exceeds expectations, is delivered on time and on budget. Contact today to talk with one of our polycarbonate manufacturing experts.

Applications Of CNC Machining In Polycarbonate

Aerospace and Aviation: Polycarbonate CNC machining is utilized in the aerospace and aviation industries for manufacturing components such as interior panels, aircraft windows, instrument panels, and aerodynamic parts. The precise machining capabilities of CNC machines ensure accurate dimensions and intricate designs, meeting the strict requirements of these industries.

Automotive: CNC machining is employed in the automotive sector for producing polycarbonate parts like headlight lenses, automotive windows, dashboard components, and interior trim pieces. CNC machining ensures the high-quality finish, tight tolerances, and intricate detailing required for automotive applications.

Electronics and Electrical Enclosures: Plastic PC machining is extensively used in the electronics industry for manufacturing enclosures, housing units, and protective covers for electronic devices. CNC machining allows for precise cutouts, slots, and openings required for connectors, switches, and displays, ensuring proper fit and functionality.

Medical and Healthcare: CNC machining is vital for producing polycarbonate components used in medical and healthcare applications. This includes surgical instruments, medical device casings, laboratory equipment, and transparent protective shields. CNC machining enables the production of intricate and sterile components that meet the strict quality and regulatory standards of the medical field.

Machinability Of Polycarbonate

  • The machinability of Polycarbonate is very good. It has a good surface finish and can be machined with conventional tooling. However, it should not be over-machined as this will distort the material.
  • Polycarbonate can be cut with carbide tools at speeds ranging from 250 to 500 m/min (1000 to 2000 ft/min). Depending on the material thickness, the cutting temperature should be between 300 and 400°F (150 to 200°C).
  • Polycarbonate is relatively easy to machine compared with other engineering plastics because it has a low coefficient of friction and good thermal conductivity, which helps dissipate heat generated by cutting operations.

Note For Designers

Polycarbonate is a mid-priced thermoplastic and therefore along with its favourable properties, is a popular choice for a wide range of applications.

If the extremely high impact strength of Polycarbonate is not required, Acrylic may be considered as an alternative transparent thermoplastic which still has very good impact resistance and better clarity.

If higher temperatures or improved chemical resistance are required, PSU is a better alternative.

Note: stock material is transparent however if faces are machined, a secondary polishing process is required to regain optical clarity.

Polycarbonate 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 8574K321

Polycarbonate 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.

  1. Rough Finished Surface – This surface is the most common, and it is created by using a grinding wheel to give the polycarbonate a rough, matte finish.
  2. Smooth Finished Surface – Achieving a smooth finished surface requires polishing after the initial grinding process. This gives the polycarbonate a glossy look and feel.
  3. Painted Surface – Achieving a painted surface requires applying paint to the polycarbonate after it has been ground and polished.
  4. Textured Surface – This surface is achieved by using a grinding wheel with a rougher texture. This creates a more textured, matte finish.

Polycarbonate 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.

Get your Polycarbonate parts into production today

At our company, we specialize in providing precision polycarbonate CNC machining in China. Polycarbonate is a versatile thermoplastic known for its exceptional transparency, excellent impact strength, and temperature resistance.

Our state-of-the-art CNC machines and experienced technicians allow us to precisely shape and fabricate polycarbonate components to meet your specific requirements.