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Thread: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

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Old 10-15-2020, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

Hey guys,

I wanna start off by apologizing if this is in the wrong section. I wasn't sure if I should post this here or perhaps in the "Newbie General" section? Anyway, I've been in the RC hobby on and off for the past 15 years or so. One question I've always had lingering in the back of my mind was if polycarbonate aka Lexan or Makrolon became brittle or turned yellow with age like some other plastics?
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

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Originally Posted by NeoPyro View Post
Hey guys,

I wanna start off by apologizing if this is in the wrong section. I wasn't sure if I should post this here or perhaps in the "Newbie General" section? Anyway, I've been in the RC hobby on and off for the past 15 years or so. One question I've always had lingering in the back of my mind was if polycarbonate aka Lexan or Makrolon became brittle or turned yellow with age like some other plastics?

Yellow no, and the windshields are still clear. My older shells usually get replaced so Iíve never had any get brittle, even storing them in a hot environment here.nothing older than four years old


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Old 10-15-2020, 07:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

Haven't experienced that wirh new bodies. Back in the 90s i had that happen a few times. (Cracking) never yellow'ed
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

Just like everyone else, no I havenít had any problems. Only time was when I just barely cut into a corner, and it ended up cracking and even breaking apart deeper into the body, but like I said it was my fault.


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Old 10-16-2020, 08:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

I still have bodies in my basement that are 20+ years old (RC10GT and Inferno MP-5). They are painted and stored in a cool dry place (my basement is dry). No yellowing or cracking that I can see.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

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Originally Posted by NeoPyro View Post
One question I've always had lingering in the back of my mind was if polycarbonate aka Lexan or Makrolon became brittle or turned yellow with age like some other plastics?
Eventually but it will take many years of exposure to sunlight.
UV is our biggest enemy. Store them in a dark and cool place and they will last for decades.
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

Iíve got a OG Tamiya Hornet - 1987. Crystal clear still, but brittle.


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Old 10-17-2020, 08:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

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Originally Posted by HugoBiermann View Post
I’ve got a OG Tamiya Hornet - 1987. Crystal clear still, but brittle.


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Yup. I still have an OG Tamiya Frog and Wild One I built as a kid back in the 80’s. The old PS paint has definitely seen better days, the polycarbonate is definitely more fragile. That said, the quality of these bodies has likely improved since.

The hard plastic parts on the OG buggies are dramatically more fragile than they were back in the day.

No yellowing has occured
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Do polycarbonate body shells become brittle or turn yellow with age?

I have a Yokomo s14 silvia body still in package not painted yet. Bought it back in 2008 amd its still clear and flexible. Been keeping it in a big green rubbermaid bin.
Seems ok to me but I wont know fore sure until I get a RWD drift chassis amd actually attempt to paint and mount it.
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