Choosing what luggage to buy is as challenging as deciding what clothes to put on that luggage. This is made even harder by the wide variety of styles, materials, and features available in the market today.
But for the travel bugs, what’s most important is its durability and quality. Polycarbonate is a very flexible material while also having a high impact resistance. They are also resistant to extreme temperature changes, which make for a solid suitcase that can last you for years.
What is Polycarbonate Material?
Polycarbonates or PC are a type of plastic material that contains carbonate groups in their chemical structure. These thermoplastic polymers are solid and challenging but are easy to work with because of their flexibility.
They can be worked on and molded easily to fit almost any style and design you want for luggage. And because it’s plastic material, it’s pretty lightweight.
It also has a high degree of impact and temperature resistance, allowing it to self-extinguish in cases of fire. It is almost impossible to break.
Because of this, PC has steadily become one of the ideal materials for trolley bags.
Is Polycarbonate Plastic?
Yes. Polycarbonate or PC is a group of thermoplastic polymers that can be made transparent. All PC are plastic materials, but not all plastics are PC.
PCs are used to make CDs, glasses, and other medical equipment. They are even used to make bulletproof glass. They are not only solid and durable, but they are also eco-friendly because they are non-toxic and recyclable.
How is Polycarbonate Manufactured?
PCs are made using the chemical compounds Bisphenol A and carbonates. These chemicals are combined with an acid to create a chemical reaction that forms polycarbonate chains. These polycarbonate chains are then cut into smaller pieces and heated until they become a liquid polymer, pouring into a mold of the desired shape.
Pros and Cons of Polycarbonate Luggage
- It is very durable.
- Very easy to carry because they aren’t heavy. PCs are lightweight.
- Easy to clean. All you need in most cases is a tissue and a bit of water.
- It is shatterproof, meaning you won’t have any accident of having broken luggage in case it falls off or is dropped when traveling to and from the airport. It tolerates a lot of wear and tear that comes with traveling.
- It is more expensive than its PP and ABS counterparts.
- It is a bit heavier than PP and ABS.
- Due to its lightweight material, it can easily be scratched.
Polycarbonate vs. ABS vs. Polypropylene: Which is better?
ABS is a common thermoplastic polymer made of three kinds of plastics, namely Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene. This type of plastic is popular among manufacturers because of the low cost it takes to produce this material.
ABS is not as durable as PC and breaks faster, but ABS is lighter in weight compared to PC. PCs have higher impact resistance than ABS due to their shatterproof properties.
PP or Polypropylene is also made from thermoplastic polymers through the chain-growth polymerization of mono polymers. Its quality and features lie between ABS and PC, which gives them the best of both sides.
That’s a lot to take in but keep this in mind when choosing: PP is more robust than ABS and lighter than PC. ABS is cheaper than both PC and PP. PC is the most high quality in terms of durability. A key difference between all of them is their flexibility.