It’s crucial to know your alternatives when it comes to selecting materials for products like skylights and transparent barriers, as well as greenhouses and aquariums.
While glass has long been a popular choice, it isn’t always the greatest option for meeting certain requirements like as weight, strength, design flexibility, and simplicity of installation.
We’d like to go through some of the main reasons why polycarbonate over glass might be the ideal option for you.
What Is Polycarbonate?
Polycarbonate (PC) is a thermoplastic material that is hard, amorphous, and transparent and has a high impact strength. It has a variety of unique qualities that maintain it in high demand among plastic makers. Despite the fact that it comes in a variety of commercially accessible hues, the natural raw material is clear by nature. Internal reflection and transmission capacity of polycarbonate are comparable to that of glass.
PC is frequently regarded one of the greatest alternatives for engineering applications due to its wonderful qualities such as strong impact strength, good dimensional stability, and excellent electrical properties when compared to those other thermoplastic materials.
Structural glass may be used to create a completely glazed roof for any space or room. Internal rooms with exterior windows that are too far away or too tiny, as well as rear additions with side windows that are constrained by neighbouring homes, might benefit from this feature.
These overhead structural glazing features will enable the most amount of daylight into a space while yet keeping the area warm and pleasant, regardless of the external environment, thanks to advancements in glass technology.
There’s no doubting that using glass as a material in commercial and residential buildings offers a lot of advantages. Transparency is the most prominent feature. Glass provides natural light to illuminate and brighten homes, providing a welcoming atmosphere.
Despite its light-transmitting characteristic, Glass has a number of drawbacks that might cause serious issues and exceed its benefits. Glass is heavy, delicate, and costly. Glass is more hard and time-consuming to work with. It is easy to fracture or shatter, and it is costly to replace.
When compared to glass, polycarbonate sheets have become highly popular due to their great durability and tolerance to severe circumstances. Glass is readily cracked and damaged, which might result in a potentially dangerous scenario. When installing glasses in buildings and construction, polycarbonate may save you time, money, and efficiency while also considerably lowering the risk of harm.
Polycarbonate, unlike glass, can endure high temperatures, safer to use in construction and home products. Polycarbonate can withstand temperatures of roughly 270°F over several hours or abrupt bursts of heat of up to 1166°F without deformation, breaking, or heat absorption. Traditional glass is unable to resist high temperatures and absorbs the heat, making it nearly impossible to touch and raising the risk of it shattering.
In addition, polycarbonate eliminates the design limits imposed by glass, allowing curved designs straightforward and easy to implement. Because installers may cold bend a polycarbonate panel on site during installation, it removes the need for costly glass roll-forming, eliminates butt joints, and allows single-length sheets to be used. Single-length sheets provide improved leak prevention and allow for quick and easy installation. On-site cutting and drilling of polycarbonate is possible.
For polycarbonate, there are just two primary disadvantages, both are design issues. The first disadvantage is that it lacks the optical clarity of tempered glass. The second is that it is lighter, which means that it may not be heavy enough for some applications if bulk is necessary.
If you’re planning a DIY terrace or roofing extension and aren’t sure whether using polycarbonate or glass, keep the weight difference in mind. Because polycarbonate is lightweight and highly indestructible, if a section of the roof falls, it will do minimal harm. Other than that, polycarbonate is also cost lower and easier to deal with than glass.