Dow Chemical Company plans to introduce an anti-scratch additive for compounding with polycarbonate to compete with ultraviolet-light-cured PC hard coatings. “The solution eliminates a hard coating and cuts the cost by half to obtain a hardened PC,” said Arthur Chiu, global marketing and asset director for Dow’s plastics additives business. While PC has “great intrinsic properties [including] temperature resistance, toughness and even clarity,” Chui noted, it has poor scratch resistance and needs a hard coating - usually an acrylic monomer - to maintain its glossy appearance. After learning that some customers didn’t like hard coatings, Dow set about developing a solution, by working on a proprietary basis with numerous electronics and automotive customers. Dow intends to unveil the anti-scratch additive technology during trade shows in Japan and China in April. Dow plans to commercialise the product, probably during the second half of 2012. Potential applications for additive-enhanced PC include electronic-device housings and touch screens, automotive components such as knobs and dashboards, and eyeglass optics. In the past, the Dow’s plastics additives business focused mostly on PVC applications.