Cyclic Olefin Copolymer or usually called COC for short is an amorphous polymer. Compared to polyethylene or polypropylene, it is relatively a newer class of polymer. It is a thermoplastic with high performance that is formed by combining norbornene which is a cyclic olefin monomer with ethylene which is a standard plastic building block. Compared to other polymers, COC is a remarkably pure polymer that is rigid and clear as glass in its natural state. The applications of COC are countless because of its spectacular properties.
Strengths and limitations
There are a few limitations of COC plastics. They are quite sensitive towards stress cracking, and their glass transition temperature is between 75°C and 170°C. Although they have their limitations, they have their strengths and advantages. They have great resistance to steam sterilization, polar solvents, and gamma radiation. Their clarity is very high in transparency which makes them clear as glass. Compared with other transparent polymers, they have satisfying biocompatibility and their dimensional stability is excellent. A great strength to point out is their capability as exceptional moisture barriers. Unlike other polymers that are sensitive to moisture, COC is unaffected by it.
The electric properties of COC plastics are present since it is made up of low dielectric constant materials that are good materials for creating electronic components in low permittivity or high-frequency applications and it is an excellent insulator. The optical properties of COC are astounding since it is very similar compared to glass. They are exceptionally high in transparency with high heat resistance, high Abbe number, and low birefringence. The chemical properties of COC show that it has good chemical resistance to attacks from bases and acids. They are also great barriers to solvents like alcohols.
COC can be applied to many things in various industries. With its many features and properties, their application in producing products are of high quality.
There is a number of medical applications of COC since it is transparent, sterilizable, it has biocompatibility, and is a barrier to moisture. It can be used to produce test tubes, glass vials, needle injectors, inhalers, syringes, specialized labware and even mycobacteria growth tubes.
Since COC has high transparency, low birefringence, consistent refractive index, good metallization, and high dimensional stability, they are ideal for optics applications. They are used to manufacture optical data discs, high precision lenses for printers, copiers, cameras, and reflectors.
COC can be used for consumer applications such as healthcare, food, and general packaging. With their enhanced stiffness, thermoformability, dead-fold, shrink, easy tear, high moisture barrier, and heat resistance, they are perfect for packaging applications. They can be applied in creating transparent food barrier films, pharmaceutical jars and bottles, protective or bubble wrap, and various films including shrink films, twist films and forming films.