Used in everything from roofing to making compact discs, polycarbonate brings a lot of properties to the table that make it a good fit for a wide range of products. Polycarbonate sheets, available in several sizes and thicknesses, consist of two thin layers that are held together by vertical “walls”.
There are numerous different applications, such as building greenhouses or roofing sheds. All you need is to figure out the right size and thickness of polycarbonate sheets, and presto.
Polycarbonate roofing sheets are designed to be placed on the roofs of greenhouses, porches and conservatories to allow light to pass through while simultaneously insulating the property by retaining heat.
Though normally made to be clear, bronze, opal and blue variants also exist, which simply darken the light that passes through. Differing degrees of transparency can also be found, based on how much light the user wants to let through and therefore how bright the conservatory, porch or greenhouse is going to be. Dependent on the structure the sheet is being fitted to, different degrees of transparency, colour, and thickness will be used to help aid the primary purpose of the roof.
Polycarbonate is a much cheaper option to glass roofs and is therefore favourable among many. They also have high thermal insulation and so retain the heat in the colder periods of the year. They have excellent structural durability and are impact resistant. This means that they are safe against any falling items such as stones or branches. Though tough, they are still extremely lightweight and easy to handle and install.
Sheet closures need to be purchased separately in order to safely secure the polycarbonate sheet onto the roof where it is being fitted. Care must be taken when ordering to ensure that the closure fits the given piece of sheet. Given the large range of thicknesses of polycarbonate sheet, it is essential that the correct closure is purchased in order for it to be effective. However, most closures do have a number of sizes that they can fit.
Most are designed to be UV resistant meaning that the sheet can sustain exposure to the sun for long periods of time without being damaged. They are designed to block out as little light as possible. They also have very high fire ratings and so are safe in the case of emergencies. They can be sold in a range of different sizes, as there is not generic size for the roof of a conservatory, greenhouse or porch. Because of this, they are often bought slightly bigger than necessary and then cut into size with a Stanley knife.
Polycarbonate sheets also come in a range of thicknesses, from as little as 4mm all the way up to 25mm. Most are twin walled, and so the distance between the top and bottom sheet is what contributes to the thickness. Triple wall sheets also exist. The thicker the sheet the heavier it will be, with 16mm polycarbonate sheets weighing around three times heavier than the lightest 4mm variant.
As well as different levels of thickness, the structure of the sheets can also vary. With some created with an internal cross brace system, they become much stronger and more rigid, and retain higher thermal insulation. These designs have different properties and are designed for varying structures and roofs. Care must be taken when purchasing polycarbonate sheets to ensure that the thickness and structure of the given sheet is suitable for both the size and type of roof that it is being fitted to.