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Everything You Need to Know about Polycarbonate Rooflights

Polycarbonate is a clear thermoplastic which is formed under heat and then cooled to fix it in shape. It can be formed into various shapes and sizes to be used in a variety of rooflight designs. If you’re thinking of using polycarbonate for your next construction project, here’s a list of everything you need to know about it.

Exceptional impact strength

Due to its strength, polycarbonate is often used to make riot shields and visors for safety helmets. Polycarbonate is resistant to a blow from a sledge hammer and will not shatter, making it much safer to use in domestic, commercial and retail buildings than glass.

In addition to being shatter proof once it’s in situ, there’s much less chance of polycarbonate breaking or shattering in transit or during installation which can make it a slightly cheaper option.

UV blockage

Polycarbonate has been a popular option for construction in commercial and residential buildings due to its blockage of harmful UV rays. Although it lets natural light in, it protects the inside from the sun’s harmful rays.

However, remember that the polycarbonate itself will need UV protection to prevent discolouration, maintain light transmission and retain its structural qualities. Polycarbonate can be prone to failure if the UV protection is damaged during transit or installation.

Light transmission

Like glass, polycarbonate allows for optimal light transmission and diffuses the light evenly throughout the building which has made it a popular option for retail and commercial rooflights for many years. Transmission of natural light through rooflights has been scientifically proven to increase worker productivity and improve sales in a retail environment. Not only that, natural light transmission can also dramatically reduce the need for electric lights, making rooflights an environmentally friendly and cost effective solution.

Easy to shape

With the ability to heat polycarbonate and shape it into the desired shape, it’s much more flexible than glass. Polycarbonate can be used to create dome, pyramid and barrel shaped rooflights meaning that more designs are possible than simply a flat structure.

Resistance to extreme temperatures

Part of the reason that polycarbonate is such a long lasting material is that it is highly resistant to extreme hot and cold temperatures so can be used even in the harshest of environments without risk of discolouration, fading or yellowing.

At Xtralite, we provide a range of rooflight materials, including polycarbonate. Please contact us for more information or for guidance on the best material to use for your project.