Submitted by: Acrylicxk Plastics

We get lots of questions about lexan polycarbonate sheets as a greenhouse covering. For the most part we find that people are trying to over complicate the issue. This article will address precisely what greenhouse lexan polycarbonate sheets are.

Lexan polycarbonate sheets, simply put, are a plastic. They’re lightweight (1/6th the weight of glass), virtually unbreakable (impact strength 200 times greater than glass), have excellent weather resistance (due to the Ultra violet protection on one or 2 sides of the sheets), have superb insulation (because of the multiple layers with channels in between) and are flexible and simple to install (check specific information on each thickness). You can purchase it in solid sheets, corrugated, or multiwall. The normal configurations used for greenhouse glazing are corrugated and multiwall. The reason the solid sheets are not recommended is due to the fact that they aren’t widely available with a UV protection on one side. The actual UV protection will keep the sheets from yellowing or getting brittle. Some people may mistakenly believe this affects the light transmission of the sheets. It has nothing to do with that. The sheets with Ultra violet protection on one side are typically guaranteed for 10 years against yellowing and hail damage. This will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. There are also sheets available with UV protection on both sides. These are typically used for vertical applications such as fencing where both sides of the sheet are exposed to the sun. Although this may be used for a greenhouse, it is typically more expensive and unneeded.

Corrugated sheets are lexan polycarbonate sheets that are typically very thin, usually 0.8mm. It’s available in a wavy or greca design. It will function great for a greenhouse, but will not have as much insulation as a double wall sheet.

The easiest way to visualize a twin wall sheet is to consider looking down the edge of a cardboard container. There is a sheet on the inside, a sheet on the outside with a rib running in between the sheets. The rib in a cardboard box will be wavy. The rib in lexan polycarbonate sheets runs straight between the 2 sheets. Both sides of the sheet are flat. The lexan polycarbonate sheets are clear, but not “crystal clear” like glass. The actual rib will distort your view somewhat. It’s available in 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 16mm thickness. The 16mm is typically a triple wall – which means there will be a sheet running between the 2 exterior lexan polycarbonate sheets. There’s also some 8mm sheets available as a triple wall. Typically, the thicker the sheet, the better the actual insulation factor. One should consider the initial cost of the polycarbonate when considering the overall cost savings due to power costs. A 16mm sheet is about 5/8″ thick. Lexan polycarbonate sheets tend to be shipped by truck because they can’t be rolled and must be shipped flat.

Most greenhouses tend to be glazed with clear polycarbonate. It is available additionally in bronze as well as opal. These will cut down on light transmission significantly. Of course, regardless of whether you want to consider opal or bronze is determined by the needs of your particular plants. In conclusion, lexan polycarbonate sheets are an excellent choice with regard to greenhouse glazing. It is easy to set up and durable.

About the Author: Emco Industrial Plastics, Inc. Tel: 800-292-9906 Supplier of plastic sheet, rod, tube, films, prototyping, and acrylic sheet.

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