3 Tips For Multi-Wall Polycarbonate Users

Posted: August 15, 2016 in Polycarbonate

Multi-wall (also known as “twin wall”) polycarbonate is a very popular plastic product for use by the DIY community. This is because the product is inexpensive, readily available, and easy to work with. In fact, often the most “complicated” part of the job is convincing users how simple working with the product is! Whether its concerns about special hardware, installation, fabrication or estimating what product you need – these three tips will assist you in optimizing your multi-wall polycarbonate application.

1.) Don’t overestimate the product’s thickness

Most of the customers for multi-wall polycarbonate are people using it for “residential” applications such as a home greenhouse or awning. But for whatever reason people often ask for thick multi wall polycarbonate such as 10mm+ thickness. Thick multi-wall polycarbonate is designed for large, commercial greenhouse, and for home use is overkill. In fact, in almost all cases material thicker than 6mm is not required and in fact has two disadvantages.

The first is cost, as thicker polycarbonate will cost much more than the more readily accessible 6mm variety and secondly, thicker polycarbonate lets in less light. This means that your plants in your greenhouse get less light and could grow slower and your living space below your awning could be a bit darker. Combined with increased cost and less availability, why would you want that?

2.) No special hardware, and oversize holes by 1/8″

Ok, we cheated with two tips at once. But truth is we get asked all the time to supply special hardware for multi-wall polycarbonate. In the case of fasteners, there is none. Just use whatever screws or bolts you have lying around…3/16″, 1/2″…Whatever you have. Whatever hole you do drill, oversize it by 1/8″ to account for thermal expansion and to help avoid cracking of the material.

3.) Masked side up

When you get your polycarbonate sheet you will notice one side has a masking on it of plastic film. It is that side that has the UV protective coating. And it is that side you must have “face up” or “to the outside” as it will be hit with the light.

polycarbonate-roof

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