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POLYCARBONATE. FEATURES, USES AND MORE

In this post, we will break down the most important information about polycarbonate. Knowing the characteristics, properties and uses of this material makes it possible to correctly determine when to use it in design projects, be they decorative, architectural or industrial.

WHAT IS POLYCARBONATE AND WHAT IS IT USED FOR?

To understand this material, it is first necessary to know a little about thermoplastic materials. A thermoplastic material is a polymer (commonly known as a plastic) that can be heated, cooled, and reheated, allowing the material to be reused. They are the opposite of thermoset or thermosetting polymers. These once “molded”, cannot be reused.

Based on the above, polycarbonate falls within the type of thermoplastic polymers, which is widely used in modern industry. The most important sectors where this material is used are the architectural sector (domestic and commercial) and the industrial sector.

Before continuing, remember that we have a section of products dedicated to ceilings. We have modern polycarbonate roof designs for your projects. If you are interested, you can see our ceilings section and quote with us:

policarbonato en Panamá

CHARACTERISTICS OF POLYCARBONATE

Polycarbonate has a glazing of 1.85 K W/m2°k.

Thermal expansion varies in a range from 20°C to 135°C. During expansion, the mechanical properties remain stable. It is a resistant material.

It has a maximum service temperature of 60°.

Linear thermal expansion is 0.067mm/m°C. This factor is important to take into account in the design. For designs that require precision, it is necessary to consider this property in areas where the outside temperature is high.

Solar heat gain ranges from 10% to 50%. This variation is heat and site dependent. For closed spaces it is necessary to consider optimal ventilation systems.

The impact resistance of polycarbonate sheets is high. It is a material that is considered virtually unbreakable in residential and commercial areas.

From an aesthetic point of view, it is a material that admits different colors. This gives it an added value at an architectural and decorative level.

TYPES OF POLYCARBONATE SHEETS

Alveolar or cellular laminae

This type of sheet has alveoli that separate the upper and lower faces of the sheet. This generates empty sections or capsules through which the air circulates. The general dimensions of these sheets are variable and their standard thickness does not exceed 20 mm.

Multicell alveolar sheets

Multicell alveolar sheets “stack” layers of alveoli one on top of the other. This feature increases their impact resistance to the point of being considered virtually unbreakable.

Compact sheets

These are solid compact sheets, with a minimum thickness of 2 mm. They have a greater weight than alveolar or multicell sheets and are elements used in a variety of architectural and decorative projects. The factor to take into account with these sheets is that they can be difficult to treat for curved sections, compared to the previous ones.

Corrugated sheets

Corrugated sheets are the equivalent of a sheet of asbestos, pvc, zinc sheet or similar. At the design level, they present the same type of waves, with the added characteristics of the passage of sunlight, less weight and UV protection from polycarbonate.

USES OF POLYCARBONATE

Polycarbonate is widely used in various areas. Among the most outstanding we have:

The large-scale architectural and construction sector. Larger constructions have integrated polycarbonate sheets in areas where they require natural lighting.

The architectural and construction sector at the domestic level. Modern houses use this material as a protection element in roof sections that at the same time take advantage of the light properties of the sun.

Design and manufacture of decorative elements. From divisions in internal areas of rooms, to artistic elements; polycarbonate is everywhere.

As a reusable polymer, it can be transformed and combined to be used in other applications that do not go hand in hand with the architectural sector. This point is important, since it is not necessary to “discard” old sheets that require replacement.

policarbonato en Panamá

HOW MUCH DOES A POLYCARBONATE SHEET COST?

The price of a sheet of this polymer can vary depending on certain physical and configuration factors. The price of an alveolar sheet can vary with respect to a multicell, corrugated or compact sheet. Other factors to take into account to quote or determine the price per sheet are the general dimensions, color, thickness, among other factors. If you need to quote sheets for your projects, do not hesitate to quote with us:

WHICH MATERIAL IS BETTER, ACRYLIC OR POLYCARBONATE?

Answering this question requires us to take glass as a reference material. The reason why glass is the starting point to compare and define which material is better, is that glass is the transparent architectural material par excellence.

The impact resistance of polycarbonate is almost 100 times greater than the resistance of acrylic, with respect to glass.

The passage of sunlight is greater in acrylic than in polycarbonate, with the disadvantage of having less protection against UV rays.

The maximum operating temperature for polycarbonate (overcoming safety factors) is above 100 °C. That of acrylic is around 90 °C.

The rigidity of polycarbonate is lower than that of acrylic. This factor can represent an advantage if the project requires curved sheets.

The chemical resistance of acrylic is inferior compared to polycarbonate.

All of the above makes the answer to which material is better depend on the project being executed. For exteriors, considering resistance and protection as a priority, polycarbonate is the best option. For interiors or areas that are not at risk of receiving too much sunlight or impacts from foreign objects, acrylic is a good option, cheaper than glass and polycarbonate, depending on the thickness selected.

POLYCARBONATE IN PANAMA

If you are looking for advice in Panama for the purchase of polycarbonate sheets, or if you need to develop a project and do not know who to trust, do not hesitate to contact us. We offer you the best personalized advice for what you need.

LEARN MORE IN OUR BLOG

If you want to learn more about the materials of our products, cleaning and maintenance tips, recommendations, the world of 3D modeling and rendering, and much more, don’t hesitate to visit our blog. We publish weekly content and if you want us to delve into a topic of interest (or if you want us to write an entry for your blog), do not hesitate to send us your request in our contact section.

Finally, remember to follow us on our social media profiles on Facebook and Instagram, where you will be up to date with our latest projects and designs.