Many customers come to Label-Aid wondering whether to choose a polyester or a polycarbonate overlay. Material choice is important to make sure that your ATM keypads, fitness equipment displays, or industrial panel overlay avoids getting cracked and faded over time.
Generally, polyester is considered the more durable material option. You might choose a polyester label if your applications involves chemicals such as acids, solvents, or cleaners because polyester has better chemical resistance. Polyester has a higher actuation life as well, which means that it can be pushed many times over many years without cracking or deforming. We typically see polyester overlays in industries such as medical, industrial plant environments, and appliances.
Polycarbonate, however, has more cosmetic options. While polyester is a thick and durable material, polyester is available in a greater range of thicknesses, finishes, and textures. It is a good option where the color and design is important. Additionally, polycarbonate overlays are flame retardant, so they can be used in industries where fire safety is needed, such as aerospace.
Both substrates can be effectively used outdoors, however, polyester is probably the better choice.
The chart below shows all of the differences between polycarbonate and polyester overlays. Questions? Contact Label-Aid today!
|Trade Names||MYLAR, MELINIX, ProTek, AutoFlex, Autotex||LEXAN, MAKROLON, ULTEM, VALOX|
|Outdoor||Yes (but not sea water)||Yes|
|Flex Life (Actuations)||Far Superior||Good|
|Chemical Resistance||Far Superior||Fair|
|Abrasion Resistance||Far Superior||Fair|
|Embossing Detail||Good||Very Good|
|High Temp Range||302 Degrees Farenheit||275 Degrees Farenheit|
|Hard Coating Addition||Yes||Yes|