Polycarbonate How to Cut and Fasten
A polymer material that has thermoplastic properties is usually presented in the form of sheets. Despite the different colors, it is transparent. In everyday life it is called polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is intended for arrangement of greenhouses, canopies, and also verandas. You can also make a visor over the porch made of polycarbonate. It is believed that there can be nothing complicated in working with him, however, there are still some features.
What you need to know before starting installation?
Polycarbonate in appearance resembles glass. However, its apparent transparency nevertheless serves as a good protection against direct sunlight. This monolithic material has good flexibility, but is very durable and quite light. The operational temperature of polycarbonate is from. 40 to 120 degrees Celsius.
Polycarbonate is divided into two types:
- Monolithic. It’s practically glass, only lighter and stronger
- Cell phone. It is a hollow, but multi-layer construction with longitudinal stiffeners
Before purchasing polycarbonate, it is desirable, as accurately as possible, to determine its size. This will greatly facilitate sheet fitting. And also it is worth being prepared for the fact that the installation of polycarbonate, if you imagine it step by step, looks like this:
- Sheet Selection (Orientation)
- Cutting plates of the desired shape and size
- Preparing Mounting Holes
- Joint sealing
- Assembly of all structural elements
It is also worth considering the fact that polycarbonate can be deformed due to increased heat load. This is especially important to know before making a greenhouse out of polycarbonate with your own hands, to fasten polycarbonate to a greenhouse, roof or canopy, which will be mainly under the scorching sun.
Worth to know! 2.5 millimeters per meter is the standard expansion rate for honeycomb transparent polycarbonate, and for colored boards this figure is 4.5 millimeters per meter.
When mounting in the summer in the heat of the panel, it is necessary to install close to it, including to the lock of the docking profile. Lowering the temperature will reduce polycarbonate and the necessary gap will appear between the profile lock and the sheet, which will provide additional moisture waste.
When working with cellular polycarbonate, the main thing is to correctly position the sheets taking into account the stiffeners. Installation of the panel must be performed so that the internal channels of the stiffeners have an exit to the outside. This will drain condensate, which will form inside the sheet. Can polycarbonate be mounted horizontally?
It is important! When designing a greenhouse, the sheets must be placed vertically (stiffeners should be perpendicular to the surface). If there is an installation of pitched surfaces, then the ribs must be located along the slopes. When arched installation, the edges should be placed in the direction of the arc.
It is worth paying attention to whether the manufacturer made one of the sides of the polycarbonate outer. If yes, then such a side has a special protective layer that can be removed after the sheet is fixed.
When working with cellular polycarbonate, you must take into account the maximum bending radius of the material, which is indicated for each type of panel separately.
Video: Polycarbonate How to Cut and Fasten
Accurate measurements will help to get the right amount of material, which is enough for high-quality fastening.
Given the correct location of the panels relative to their stiffening ribs, it is worthwhile to prepare a drawing with measurements of the required number of polycarbonate plates. Then you need to start cutting a large canvas.
For cutting, a high-speed circular saw is quite suitable. Carry out the best work with carbide discs with undiluted small teeth.
Attention! Polycarbonate sheets cannot be held in the hands during cutting. Strong vibration can result in personal injury or poor cut. It is best to lay the panels on a flat, solid surface and securely fix, even with a vise. And the cut line after work must be cleaned of chips.
Drill holes in cellular polycarbonate between stiffeners (this will not interfere with condensate drainage). Work must be done before mounting. It is best to drill with an electric drill with drill bits for metal.
This process only needs to be done for honeycomb panels. At the ends located on top, you need to fix a self-adhesive tape. The bottom ends cannot be sealed.
If you decide to make a polycarbonate greenhouse, then consider that you need to process the polycarbonate greenhouse in the fall. This is necessary in order to reduce the risk of crop disease.
By the way, polycarbonate is not in vain used in the manufacture of greenhouses. This material perfectly transmits light and at the same time possesses resistance to high temperature. Read about other cellular polycarbonate specifications here. This material is characterized by high strength.
How and how to fix polycarbonate to metal and wood?
When all the preparatory work is completed, you need to start the process of installation of the structure, which is a competent fastening of polycarbonate.
There are 2 common ways to attach polycarbonate sheets:
- With thermal washers
- Using Profiles
Fixing polycarbonate with thermal washers
For thermal washers, you need to make holes in the polycarbonate sheets a couple of millimeters wider than the diameter of each thermal washer. The plastic construction on the short leg should fit snugly into the hole and snap into place. Its length is equal to the thickness of the panel.
In the thermal washer there is always a rubber band seal, which makes it possible for additional fixation and does not allow moisture and dust to pass through. Such an installation method can provide tight retention of polycarbonate by washers, which will expand under thermal loads and prevent the sheets from changing their shape. This method of attachment is called point.
Fastening polycarbonate with metal profiles
Such installation assumes that the polycarbonate sheets will be inserted into the metal profile, and then the finished structure will be installed where necessary. This method is convenient when the panels are stacked in several rows and need to be joined.
The edges of the panels in the profile must be fixed with self-tapping screws or with the same thermal washers. Most often, with the help of profiles, you can fix the panels, which should become the edges of the structure, and the middle can be mounted using a point mount.
The profile may be:
- Special (it is necessary for connecting panels where the configuration of the frame is changed)
In all cases, the polycarbonate sheets in the profile should "go" no more than 20 millimeters.
All the methods of polycarbonate fastening described above are still called dry. But the “wet” method implies that the sheets should be attached to the frames or to each other using polymer putty. Then all joints on the inside are treated with sealant.
The method of fastening polycarbonate should be selected based on what tasks are assigned to the structure and how much easier it will be to mount it. And subject to all the rules, it should turn out to be strong and beautiful.
Video on how to attach cellular polycarbonate
Detailed video installation instructions for cellular polycarbonate.
How to attach polycarbonate to the frame of the greenhouse so that the coating does not crack, bend or burst. What to choose fasteners for polycarbonate.