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Is Polycarbonate Luggage Durable?
While researching hard shell luggage, you will find that the material of the front and back shells is an important factor to consider when making a decision. One of the questions we receive at ROAM is what makes polycarbonate luggage durable, and why we chose it as the materials for our shells.
Polycarbonate is a high-tech plastic that is one of the materials used to make motorcycle helmets. When a driver crashes, the brain is protected.
Because polycarbonate is that strong, it’s also one of the most common materials used to make quality, durable suitcases.
In addition to motorcycle helmets and luggage, polycarbonate is also a component in a number of other items, including cockpit canopies for small airplanes, safety goggles and even bulletproof glass.
What is Polycarbonate?
Without getting too technical, polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is extremely difficult to break. This high-tech plastic can be easily molded and colored during the manufacturing process, and it’s incredibly lightweight for the strength it provides.
Polycarbonate vs. Aluminum
Other than aluminum, polycarbonate luggage is the most durable luggage material. Although one of the lighter industrial metals, aluminum is still heavier than polycarbonate. For this reason, and because aluminum is easily dented and expensive, it’s not as popular as polycarbonate for luggage.
Polycarbonate vs. ABS
ABS, which stands for “acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene”, is another high-tech plastic and common material for hard-shell luggage. In relation to polycarbonate, ABS is lighter, but it is not as durable. Luggage made of polycarbonate will last longer than ABS and is not nearly as heavy as aluminum.
Polypropylene vs. polycarbonate luggage
Polypropylene is very lightweight, so these bags are easy to carry. Polypropylene, however, is neither as durable nor flexible as polycarbonate. Polypropylene is similar to ABS in that regard.
Polycarbonate’s scratch resistance
Polycarbonate suitcases are durable in more ways than one. Aluminum, while very strong, is easily scratched and dented. Does polycarbonate scratch? It does, as do all plastics, but it’s more resistant to scratches than other materials used to make hard shell suitcases. In addition, ROAM dies our polycarbonate shells all the way through the material, so any scratches will be less noticeable. Other companies may use a color film on top of a white or grey plastic base, so any scratches through the film show the color underneath.
All in all, if you are looking for luggage that is lightweight, durable and going to stand the test of time, polycarbonate cases from ROAM are a great investment.
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