Deciding whether to use glass or polycarbonate is about more than just aesthetics. While polycarbonate is versatile enough to meet a variety of design challenges, it’s also extremely strong, provides effective insulation against heat, cold, and UV radiation, as well as offering unparalleled ease of installation with the added bonus of reduced costs.
When weighing the benefits of polycarbonate versus glass, take these important features into account:
1. 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.
|Sheet Thickness||Glass Weight||PALSUN® Weight|
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.
In Australia, replacing an old roof completely ruined by hail required the design and manufacture of a custom made SUNLITE multi-wall panel with a 2mm solid polycarbonate upper wall, supplied with an extended guarantee!
2. Superior thermal insulation
Effective thermal insulation isn’t just “nice to have”, it’s a must. PALSUN glazing offers better insulation by more than 20% than its glass counterpart.
|Glazing thickness||K Value|
3. Saves on energy costs
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.
|Thickness||Glass U-Value||PALSUN U-Value|
4. Polycarbonate offers the best protection 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
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. Versatile polycarbonate offers ease of installation
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.