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Polycarbonate vs glass: what you need to know

Still trying to decide to use polycarbonate or glass for you next project? Well read on…

Tamis Horesh, from Palram put together an amazing comparison between Polycarbonate vs Glass, and we are going to share a summary with you!

For a quick decision, maybe this bullet list here can help you. Polycarbonate:

  • Is stronger
  • Is lighter
  • Has a superior thermal insulation
  • Saves in energy cost
  • Offers better protection from UV radiation
  • Offers effective control of light transmission
  • Is easy to install

However, if you are a more careful decision maker, we got you covered as well!

Handy Comparison between Polycarbonate and Glass:

 1.   Polycarbonate is stronger and lighter!

Polycarbonate offers the best of both worlds: It’s 200 times stronger and more than 50% lighter, without compromising on natural daylight transmission and high clarity.

The designers of the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia – one of the 2018 World Cup host stadiums – were looking for a roofing solution that could withstand the area’s extreme weather conditions. Winter temperatures in Nizhny Novgorod can reach an average low of -13 Celsius and snowfall can be extremely heavy (in December 2017, the region experienced 48.5 cm of snow, falling for 24 consecutive days.) In only 4 months, the roof (60,000 square meters) was covered with SUNPAL, which protected the spectators from harmful UV rays on sunny days and was strong enough to withstand the area’s harsh winter conditions.

2.      Superior thermal insulation

For countries with colder weather, thermal insulation is a must! Polycarbonate multiwall sheets offer 20% more thermal insultation than its glasscounterpart

3.  It saves energy cost!

This is what we like to hear and what makes a difference at the end of the month: energy costs being lowered!

The benefits of a well-insulated building go far beyond making it pleasant for occupants, irrespective of the weather outside. It also results in substantial cost savings. Materials with higher U-values are poor insulators and result in greater heat loss. Thicker sheets with a lower U-value offer greater insulation and reduced heat loss. Using 
PALSUN results in a significant reduction in energy costs both for heating in winter and air-conditioning during the summer. It’s important to note that using solar control sheets provides excellent insulation and also reduces air conditioning costs because of near infrared reflection and reduced heat buildup. 

 4.  Polycarbonate offers the best protecton from UV radiation

More than ever before, providing effective exposure to UltraViolet (UV) solar radiation is a key concern when planning transparent roofing, especially for applications such as pool covers or pergolas.

While properly applied sunscreen offers effective protection, the most effective barrier is PALSUN, which completely blocks out UV radiation.

5.   Polycarbonate offers effective control over light transmission and diffusion

The amount of light coming into a building has a significant effect on health and wellbeing and affects working conditions. Polycarbonate can be adjusted to transmit a specific percentage of light as well as providing UV and solar heat control.

When the architects of the indoor market in Garraunkilla, Ireland were planning the Garraunkilla Farmers Market, they wanted a transparent roof to give visitors that outdoor feeling. In addition to letting the light in, the roof also had to be highly impact resistant, to withstand heavy rainfall and rainstorms. One of the initial designs utilized flat glass, but they soon realized that going with SUNGLAZE would give them the freedom to design a more creative and aesthetically pleasing curved roof design. They went with SUNGLAZE 14-meter-long continuous transparent sheets with a double curve, achieved by on-site cold curving.

6.     Polycarbonate is easy to install

Using polycarbonate does away with the design constraints imposed by glass, making the implementation of curved designs simple and easy. Because installers can cold bend a polycarbonate panel on site during installation, it does away with the need for expensive glass roll-forming, eliminates the need for butt joints, and enables the use of single-length sheets. Using single-length sheets provides better protection against leakage and enables fast and easy installation. Cutting and drilling polycarbonate can be carried out at the site.

More than 4,251 individually-sized and shaped polycarbonate panels for the new roof of the Aviva Stadium in Ireland were manufactured, cut to size, shipped, identified, and installed according to scheme.

Thinking about polycarbonate for your next project?

Send us a message and speak to our expert team!

Naue Tunes
Digital Marketing Assistant