Why Does Polycarbonate Turn Yellow?

Let’s face it, polycarbonate is a clear plastic that has gained popularity in recent years. This is because it is durable, strong, and long-lasting material. However, plastic is not perfect, it can change color over the years.

Are you wondering why polycarbonate turns yellow? In this article, we have talked about why polycarbonate turns yellow. Have a look!

Reason Why Polycarbonate Changes Color

Polycarbonate is a commonly used material for a variety of applications. The polycarbonate sheets with UV protection are a better choice than glass because it provides better clarity and durability. This is the reason why it is mostly used in the construction of greenhouses. The sheets without UV protection fail prematurely and change its color to yellow.

When used as a glazing material, polycarbonate sheets are exposed to the sun. In this way, it is consistently attacked by the UV rays of the sun. Though it doesn’t penetrate the sheet, rays do attack the outer layer of the sheet. With the passage of time, the protective layer of the sheet is destroyed. As a result, the color of the sheet is changed, turning the polycarbonate sheet yellow.

Another reason why polycarbonate changes its color is the result of oxidation. When the rate of oxidation speeds up, the material changes its color at a much faster rate. Furthermore, the inherent properties of polycarbonate can also cause the material to turn yellow. For instance, if there is steam in the reaction system or phenol end groups.

The color of the sheet is changed because of the loss of connection between the molecules of polycarbonate. An important thing to keep in mind is that the changing of color is just a visual sign of loss of mechanical properties. The UV radiation causes the plastic to break, crack, shatter or even melt. This means polycarbonate that is used near the equator will degrade quickly along with having a short lifespan.

Once the sheet changes its color, it loses its aesthetic value. It also decreases the performance of the sheet in all applications. In order to protect the sheet, you should keep it away from the UV light.

It is advised to specify the position you will be using the polycarbonate. This will help in determining the type of UV protection you will need. By doing this, you will be increasing the service lifespan of this material.

How Yellowing Is Measured?

Delta YI is a standard to use measure yellowing of the sheet. This test is to measure the difference in the color of the polycarbonate sheet.

In the end, polycarbonate changes its color because of different reasons. A major reason is UV rays; the continuous rays of the sun will damage the outer layer of polycarbonate and cause it to turn yellow.

If you are looking for quality polycarbonate sheets, we are the right choice. We have a wide range of polycarbonate sheets that is suitable for a wide range of applications. For more details, feel free to get in touch with our customer support experts.


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