The strength of plastics decreases at cold temperatures. For example, polycarbonate (PC) is an extremely tough plastic at normal use temperature and is sometime used as “bullet-proof glass”. However, at very cold temperatures (-40F), PC becomes brittle and will shatter like regular glass if struck at high impact speed. Every plastic has a ductile to brittle transition temperature (DBTT) at which the plastic becomes brittle and shatters upon high-speed impact. The DBTT varies depending upon the plastic. Generally, as plastic parts age, the DBTT temperature increases.
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