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Polycarbonate Sheets

Polycarbonate Sheets are used in many applications and is extremely popular due to its many benefits. It’s composition allows it to filter light internally in a similar manner to that of glass, making it a very effective lightweight alternative for homes, sheds and other types of property. It’s application however, is more widespread than you may think and not limited to just house windows or panels. Just some of the examples where PC is used include:


  • Medical devices (cameras, lenses etc.)

  • Protective wear including face shields

  • Eyewear (protective against UV light)

  • Discs for media

  • Kitchen panels

  • Armoured vehicles and bullet resistant panels



What is Polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic and has the ability to absorb heat which means it is the preferred option for many greenhouses, as well as being used in homes for its energy efficiency, lightweight nature and overall strength. Compared often with acrylic plastic, we take a look at polycarbonate vs acrylic on the primary points between the two. The main difference is that polycarbonate as a thermoplastic can be heated to its melting point, cooled and recycled, because it doesn’t burn like a thermoset plastic would, which makes it very flexible in terms of its overall footprint carbon footprint as it can be melted down and injection molded for further use.




Benefits of Polycarbonate

As discussed it has many applications but there are so many benefits to using polycarbonate sheets that it’s no wonder it is used in a widespread way across the manufacturing industry as well as in the building sector. Here are some of the key benefits of using polycarbonate plastic sheets:


  • Highly Tensile - Its very strong

  • Shatter resistant

  • Can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • Its lightweight, resulting in easier transportation and lower carbon footprint output

  • Versatile in choice for various colours and the light filtering through

  • It can reduce heat in rooms through temperature control, by absorbing the heat

  • Its ideal for roofing because its shatterproof

  • Variable options available for colour sheets

  • Some colour options will help maintain internal temperature in direct sunlight, in this case the white polycarbonate sheets



Its core benefits are certainly the strength and durability, as well as the impact resistance it carries which make it ideal for greenhouses and any panelling where external damage could be a factor. The energy efficiency aspect is a very important selling point as it really does absorb a lot of heat and it can offer some level of temperature control.




Polycarbonate Concerns

There is a concern over whether the polycarbonate is toxic but as with most manufacturing and plastics there are some downsides, whether environmental or perhaps food related. In the case of polycarbonate the release of BPA (Bisphenol A) has caused concern over the contamination toward plastic bottles and alike however, the polycarbonates that are free of BPA are generally used for any food-contact plastics, although there is also scepticism on whether it poses any level of risk at all. For other applications such as window panels and electronic uses, it’s not of concern. The facts show that polycarbonate is environmentally friendly and certainly a preferred choice over other more toxic plastics.

The only other real issue that is worth consideration is that polycarbonate sheets are impact resistant but not scratch-proof and this could be a problem for some. However, as panels on the roof, as sunroof panels and as general panelling for properties, this is a relatively minor inconvenience when compared with the benefits overall



Types of Polycarbonate Sheets

We stock a variety of sizes and thickness for your polycarbonate order but there are different types available, including single, double and multiwall. There are advantages to each depending on what your aim is and where it is being applied.

For example, multiwall panels filter about 5% sunlight but are more energy efficient than single panels. Double wall white panels are ideal for greenhouses as they can block up to around 60% of sunlight, protecting plants from direct sunlight.

There are also coloured panels to help diffuse light using certain colours which can create a nice filtered look in your rooms.

With various applications available for polycarbonate sheets, we can help you choose the right size and thickness for your project. There are many considerations for caring and treating your polycarbonate sheets and we discuss this here. You can also see the comparisons between acrylic and polycarbonate sheets here.