Polycarbonate is a versatile material used extensively as a roof light glazing. It is highly resistant to impact, transmits high levels of light, is relatively easy to use, and it has a good fire rating.
Polycarbonate is one of the newer plastics to be used in the construction industry around the world.
Polycarbonate roof sheeting comes in two forms, each with its particular characteristics and properties:
- Solid (flat or domed) polycarbonate offers good optical clarity and superb workability. It can be cold-curved on-site, is suitable for use with a variety of glazing bar systems and can be moulded into various shapes such as domes and pyramids.
- Profiled polycarbonate matches profiled roof cladding and allows the sky to be seen through a corrugated material, a feature popular with many designers. Polycarbonate comes in all the profile shapes generally used for non-translucent roofing and cladding in South Africa.
- Polycarbonate is a strong thermoplastic material that is lightweight and can withstand extremely low and high temperatures. This durable and practical roofing material is perfect for conservatories, patios and deck areas; however, it is not suitable to be used to cover the entire roof of a house. It is also less aesthetically-appealing than tiles, for example.
Polycarbonate roof sheets offer high durability. Sometimes referred to as “plastic steel” it’s virtually unbreakable with high light transmission and excellent weather resistance. It is ideal for greenhouse coverings and skylight applications. Professionals favour polycarbonate sheeting for non-corrosive industrial structural roofing and side cladding. However, homeowners tend to choose polycarbonate roof sheeting for a multitude of DIY projects. Polycarbonate sheeting is available in a wide variety of colours and profiles.
STANDARD SIZES ARE AVAILABLE HOWEVER LENGTHS UP TO 11.8m CAN BE ORDERED
Polycarbonate Colours: Light = Heat
As a general rule, the more light that comes through the sheet, the hotter it will feel under the sheet. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and these tend to be the premium ranges in the different brands of polycarbonate sheeting. Choose types of sheets to help to skew the amount of light available without letting as much heat through. They can reflect more of the heat.
In warmer areas of South Africa – we generally caution people against using clear sheeting. In cooler parts of South Africa, clear can be a great option.
Other environmental factors should also play a part in your decision making:
- Orientation. Western facing areas may get the hot afternoon sun, for example. This will mean that if you’re using polycarbonate roofing for a braai patio area, you may require cooler coloured sheeting.
- Roof height. Hot air rises. So the lower the roof, the warmer an area may feel. Another factor is how much airflow the site will get. Do you get good breezes coming into the space?
- Shading. Trees or buildings may offer shade over your area certain times of the day. Consider the time of day you expect you will want to use your polycarbonate covered area the most. This may mean that you can afford to go for a colour that lets more light through during the times when it not a shaded area.
- Lighting. Do you require lots of light to a particular part of the house? Polycarbonate roof sheeting can be used in conjunction with Metal roofing to create light over the areas where you need it most.
- Aesthetics. You may want to match the colour scheme to existing parts of the house. You may wish to create privacy with a more opaque choice. You may be after a striking feature colour. Whatever your vision, you are sure to find great options across our wide range of polycarbonate sheeting products.
Explaining the Numbers
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC is a number that describes how much heat passes through a material. It is the amount of solar radiation that passes through the material as well as heat absorbed and released inward. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 1 – the lower the number, the less the heat. In a hot area, you would want a product with a low SHGC number.
U-value is the measure of how well heat is transferred through a material. The lower the U-value, the more insulation the material offers – the better it is at keeping the heat or cold out. You will notice that this is mostly affected by the material and how thick the material is.
In summary, you’re sure to find the perfect colour to suit your needs as there are plenty of colour options when looking at polycarbonate sheets. To choose the colour that will give you the right heat/light scenario for your space, be sure to consider what you use the area for when you use it and specific environmental factors when deciding on what colour is going to best suit you.
Are you choosing the right colour?
Polycarbonate sheets come in a fantastic variety of colours, shades and profiles.
COLOURS AVAILABLE IN STOCK: Blue / Green / Opel White / Bronze / Clear
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