COC/COP Plastic Materials & Machining

Exceptionally transparent materials ideal for life science applications

COC (Cyclic Olefin Copolymer) and COP (Cyclic Olefin Polymer) are a class of high-performance thermoplastic materials known for their outstanding optical properties, high chemical resistance, and suitability for various demanding applications. COC and COP are biocompatible, durable materials with moderate heat resistance.

COC is a copolymer while COP is a homopolymer. As they are composed of cyclic olefin monomers, they usually form amorphously. This is due to the fact that these materials are typically ethylene and norbornene derivatives. This also means they lack a distinct crystalline structure.

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MORE ABOUT COC/COP Plastic Material & Machining

Key Facts About COC/COP

  • Known for exceptional, optical level transparency and light transmission
  • Low birefringence and minimal light scattering
  • Biocompatible
  • Sterilizable
  • Superior chemical resistance
  • Good heat resistance
  • Great dimensional stability
  • Low water absorption rate
  • Low extractability
  • Low outgassing
  • Good electrical insulation properties
  • Lightweight
photo of coc cop
Grade Product Characteristics Common Applications
COC/COPExtreme transparency, high ABBE number, high heat resistance, biocompatibilityMicrofluidics components, research instruments, lenses, and medical devices

Properties & Characteristics

Although most know COP/COC for its optical properties, they also have several other qualities that make this a choice material for other purposes. With a high glass transition temperature, chemical resistance to a wide range of chemicals, and high modulus, the resin finds use in several other industries outside of medical and healthcare.

COC/COP share almost the exact same exceptional optical properties as glass and quartz — often as a more cost efficient option. These resins also offer superlative transparency, low birefringence, a high ABBE number, and high UV transmission abilities. This often leads to the materials' use in diagnostic and analytical applications especially because of its ability to retain its dimensional stability despite exposure to certain otherwise harmful elements. It also has a higher glass transition temperature at that can exceed 200°C (392°F) for short periods.

Compared to other optical materials like polycarbonate and acrylics, COC and COP exhibit a high level of moisture insensitivity. This gives them an advantage over competing materials that might otherwise be less hydrophobic due to their molecular structures. This also contributes to the materials’ biocompatibility that make COC/COP great options for microfluidics and life sciences.

With regards to chemical resistance, COP/COC resist most types of chemicals well, especially acids, bases, and alcohols. However, if exposed to non-polar organic solvents, the material does not perform well against those types of chemicals. To see a comprehensive chemical review of COC/COP with a life science focus, visit our chart here.

What are some common COC/COP applications?

  • Medical devices requiring Optical Grade 3 or 4 clarity
  • Lenses and other relevant optical products
  • Packaging
  • Analytical life science devices and applications