Developed for commercial applications in 1957, polycarbonate plastic is one of the first and most prominent members of the family of materials known as thermoplastic polymers. The material offers transparency similar to glass but has superior impact strength. In thick laminates it is bulletproof and is often used in banks and other security applications. It has excellent thermal resistance and doesn’t shrink or expand in heat or cold or when exposed to moisture. In addition, the material can be cut or sawed with common tools such as circular saws and band saws and can be worked with routers, as well. Holes can be drilled with standard drills and high-speed steel drill bits. As a raw material, thermoplastic polymers are typically supplied in sheets in thicknesses ranging from 0.030 inch up to 1.250 inch. The material has excellent fire retardant characteristics and is rated as a self-extinguishing material when used in building applications. Because of its versatility and durability it is now being employed in a variety of residential and commercial applications.
An obvious use for this plastic is as a more impact-resistant substitute for glass. Home windows can be fabricated of the material in the same installation configuration as regular glass. Twin window panes can be installed in aluminium frames with an argon gas between the panes to offer excellent thermal insulation. Manufacturers such as the Supercool (http://www.supercool.com.my/) may add ultraviolet protection to the formulation of the material to reduce damaging UV rays by up to 99 percent while admitting over 80 percent of the available light. Still other formulations reject infrared heat energy while letting in light, keeping interior of homes and buildings cooler and reducing the air conditioning load. In addition, windows are available in a frosted or textured variety which is semi-opaque, admitting light while still maintaining privacy. Roof skylights in both home and commercial construction are another popular use of polycarbonate materials. This application admits light into the building but offers superior impact strength to glass, protecting the interior of the building from falling objects on the roof or extreme weather such as hail. Greenhouses conservatories and pool enclosures, once constructed exclusively of glass, are well-suited for construction with thermoplastic polymers.
Polycarbonate material is a great stylish roofing option that can reflect the modern design.
In commercial structures, the material may be used as exterior building panels to replace conventional cladding or siding material such as wood, glass, vinyl and aluminum. Available in a variety of colors and in many curved shapes, these translucent panels opens up many design options not available with the other materials. Due to the light weight of polycarbonates, the material is also favored over glass for the clear panes installed in folding interior walls or room separators commonly used in offices, restaurants and other institutional environments.
Light weight of polycarbonate is the best choice for interior walls installation
Out-buildings such as tool sheds, garages, barns and airplane hangars often make use of corrugated roof panels made of thermoplastic polymers. The material is very lightweight and available in many colors that admit light without full transparency. This permits buildings that are not continuously occupied to be “daylighted” with sunlight instead of installing electrical lights. Catch the next tips on choosing suitable roof tiles for your home.
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