How To Stick Polycarbonate Sheets Together?
Planning to build up a polycarbonate structure, or install a polycarbonate roof on your structure? Great choice! But, do you know that in spite polycarbonate being 30 times sturdier than glass, and having 200 times more impact than glass does – meaning that it is extremely resilient to damage – these sheets cannot be adhered with the help of regular solvents. Using such solvents can cause polycarbonate to ‘craze’. This occurs when the bonds that hold two sheets together are damaged or broken. This makes the surface look cracked with hundreds of tiny little cracks on and underneath the surface. These cracks cannot be felt, but they seem to be there. However, this cracked appearance has no negative effect on the durability of the material. In spite of crazing, the material will still be capable of handling load. But, that does not mean you use regular solvents to adhere your polycarbonates together.
Instead of regular solvents, you can use two other materials – Epoxy and Methylene Chloride. Epoxy or Epoxide glue can be used just like any other substance to glue two materials together. However, with Methylene Chloride, a special ‘fusing’ process needs to be followed. This process is far superior than gluing the sheets with Epoxy as the outcome of fusing is seamless, stronger, resilient, and almost invisible.
Fusing: Step 1 – Cleaning
Your first step is to thoroughly clean the sheets that need to be adhered. You can do this with the help of lukewarm water, soapy water, and a gentle cloth or sponge. First, wash the sheets properly with lukewarm water. Next, rinse them with soapy water, and then wipe the surfaces with a cloth or sponge in the direction of the grain. Remember not to use a harsh surface to wipe the sheets, or scrub the sheets roughly, or it may result in blemishes on the surface of the sheets. Again, wash the sheets with water and dry them off with a dry cloth.
Fusing: Step 2 – Applying Methylene Chloride
Now, you can apply a small trail of Methylene Chloride along the edge of one of the sheets you wish to fuse. Remember that this substance is toxic and its fumes can be harmful. So, be very careful while working with the substance; and make sure to carry out this process in a well-ventilated area. Let the adhesive stay for a while until it becomes slightly sticky for effective bonding. Next, place the edge carefully and directly onto the surface of the other sheet.
Fusing: Step 3 – Resting period
You now need to let the sheets rest in place for a while so that they can bond as strongly as possible. For this, you need to hold the sheets carefully in place, and apply a small amount of pressure on the sheets so that the two surfaces are constantly in contact and encourage a stronger bond formation. Leave them to dry that way for around 48 hours if possible for the strongest bond formation.
Voila! You have the perfectly bonded sheets ready for your structure! So now, whenever you decide to buy and install a polycarbonate sheet, make sure it is from Tuflite Polymers, the leading suppliers of a variety of polycarbonate roofing materials in India and abroad.