Is Polycarbonate Sheet a Better Investment than Glass?

Glass is often chosen by consumers due to its long connotations of heritage and quality. This traditional material also enjoys strong environmental credentials, as glass is endlessly recyclable.

However, in everyday life, modern solutions such as polycarbonate sheet and other plastic products from acrylic sheet suppliers can prove more practical due to the benefits they provide.  Known by the trade names Lexan, Hyzod, and Safeguard, this plastic material is up to 30 times stronger than acrylic. Most commonly, polycarbonate is used for vandal resistant glazing, sight glasses and safety visors, machine guards, electrical components, and barriers.

Let’s see what advantages polycarbonate provides over glass and determine whether it is a better investment than the traditional solution or not.

Impact resistance

Did you know that polycarbonate is at least 200 times stronger than glass, without compromising on clarity and daylight transmission? This product is considered almost unbreakable and is much safer than glass, making it suitable in places like public transportation areas, schools, hospitals, and greenhouses.

Heat resistance

Polycarbonate is used for construction and household items because it can withstand temperatures of up to 155 degrees Celsius before melting. However, even if you heat polycarbonate past its melting point, you can cool it and reheat it again to give it the desired form without significant degradation. This is possible because polycarbonate is a thermoplastic.

Longer lifespan

Polycarbonate tends to last longer than glass due to being impact resistant and durable. The longer lifespan cuts down on the cost of replacement and is a major advantage in the case of large buildings with hundreds of windows to maintain.

Superior insulation

Unlike glass, polycarbonate has superior thermal efficiency, contributing to a constant temperature of indoor spaces. Polycarbonate usage cuts down on heating and air conditioning costs, while also reducing carbon footprint. Using a thicker polycarbonate sheet cut to size will help you keep your home or office comfortable with a minimum impact on the environment.

UV protection

When it comes to transparent roofing for pool covers or pergolas, polycarbonate is a better choice than glass because it completely blocks out UV radiation.

Easy transport and installation

Because polycarbonate is half the size of glass, it is easier to transport and install, also eliminating the design constraints imposed by glass. With polycarbonate, it is easy to implement curved designs because this flexible and versatile material can be bended, using single-length sheets. The use of single-length sheets eliminates problems such as the need for expensive glass forming and leakage due to a large number of joints.

Easiness of installation is also due to the fact that polycarbonate is easy to machine, while glass is fragile and more difficult to process. Polycarbonate can be cut using a variety of tools, such as hand shears, hacksaws, jigsaws, fine-tooth circular saws and plastic-toothed saws for reduced heat friction.

Downside: sensitive to scratches

We need to be honest about one disadvantage of polycarbonate: it is easy to scratch. However, for this reason, clear polycarbonate surfaces that need to be protected are usually covered with a scratch-resistant layer.

Recommended uses for polycarbonate

Given that polycarbonate has so many advantages over glass, we can say it is a better investment than the fragile, traditional material we have been using for so long. Nevertheless, as polycarbonate sheet suppliers, we advise our customers based on their needs and budgets and recommend polycarbonate mainly for the following uses:

  • Greenhouse glazing – because polycarbonate is strong and shatterproof, while also providing unparalleled heat resistance;
  • Roofing – for areas such as summer houses, patio covers, and conservatories. Furthermore, polycarbonate is treated with UV-resistant chemicals to protect users from sun rays;
  • Protective screens – lately used as physical barriers to stop the spread of pathogens;
  • Vehicle windows – such as car and aircraft windscreens and boat windows.

Looking to install polycarbonate in your home or office? Perspex Online is a polycarbonate sheet manufacturer ensuring all type plastic fabrication. We make buying cut to size quality polycarbonate easy and convenient. Polycarbonate sheet is available in clear, opal, and light grey tint.

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