Are Polymers Going To Completely Outdo Glass?
Glass has been the most traditional material used for building transparent structures since time immemorial. But, revolution has been taking place in this field. Ever since polymers have been introduced, the position of glass is slowly rattling. Due to a number of reasons, transparent recyclable polymers are slowly gaining popularity and replacing glass in a variety of structures. However, if a façade with a transparent, low durability, non-combustible material is required, glass is still a good option. But, things are changing rapidly, and more and more architects and designers are opting for polymers. The polymers that we speak about here include polycarbonate, acrylic, nylon, and polypropylene. Nylon and polypropylene are still lagging behind due to their low stiffness and strength. But, acrylic and polycarbonate are gaining popularity due to their less brittle nature and ultimate strength, and many other reasons too. This is why Tuflite Polymers, a leader in manufacturing and supplying polycarbonate roofing sheets, offers a variety of polycarbonate types to suit every kind of requirement.
Polymers have greater impact resistance
Polycarbonate and acrylic cannot be as easily broken as glass. In fact, they are virtually unbreakable! Extremely sharp impact could crack or shatter them, but the amount of impact required is extremely greater than what is required of glass. Both the polymers have outstanding resistance against any kind of impact including rain, wind, storm, hail, stone, etc. However, acrylic has only 15-20 times the impact resistance of glass; while polycarbonate has 30 times the resistance!
Polymers are safer and easier to cut and drill
Cutting and drilling glass is dangerous as it produces harmful shards that are unsafe for the eyes and body. Conversely, cutting and drilling polymers is easier and safer. Working with polymers does not produce such shards; instead, curls of the material are produced which are not toxic, and can also be easily cleaned away. Although cutting both acrylic and polycarbonate is easy which requires only sharp-toothed scissors or saws, but drilling acrylic may lead to cracking, especially when done near the corners. On the contrary, polycarbonate will not be cracked, no matter where it is drilled.
Polymers are more visually appealing
Unlike glass, polymers are available in a wide range of colours. However, polycarbonate is available only in standard colours, while acrylic are obtainable in a wider and more varied colour palette. But, both these polymers can be easily moulded into various shapes due to their flexibility and durability, which is a strong property against glass.
You can see how polymers have multiple advantages over glass. And in fact, polycarbonates are comparatively much better than acrylic. This is because polycarbonates have better impact resistance, lesser cracking opportunity, much lower U-value, and can also reduce reliance on secondary solar control options. Furthermore, with an additional UV protection layer on one side, polycarbonates can bring in maximum sunlight indoors, while blocking away the harmful UV radiations. Glass and acrylic, on the other hand, can bring in both light and UV rays. With all these benefits, you definitely want to use polycarbonate roofing sheets for building your next transparent structure.