Dow Chemical Co. plans to introduce an anti-scratch additive for compounding with polycarbonate to compete with ultraviolet-light-cured polycarbonate hard coatings. While polycarbonate is temperature resistant, tough and clear, it has poor scratch resistance and needs a hard coating—usually an acrylic monomer—to maintain its glossy appearance, the company says. The new additive is designed to eliminate the hard coating and decrease the costs associated with obtaining a hardened polycarbonate.
Potential applications for additive-enhanced polycarbonate include electronic-device housings and touch screens, automotive components such as knobs and dashboards, and eyeglass optics. The additive is expected to be available in the second half of 2012.