Polycarbonate Glazing Systems

Polycarbonate glazing is only as good or as bad as the framing systems that support it. Those unfamiliar with polycarbonate often think they can use the same framings they do for glass. NO! Framing systems for polycarbonate are different.

Systems designed for glass generally grip too tightly and do not allow enough movement for polycarbonate, which has a 10 to 20 times greater expansion/contraction rate than glass. A well-designed polycarbonate system should allow you to place your palm on the sheet and move it within the frame. This demonstrates the designed allowance for expansion and contraction. A well-designed polycarbonate system should be dry-glazed to accommodate this. A well-designed polycarbonate system also enables easy cold-forming to achieve the curves that accent many canopy and roof structures.

Here at Skyworks, we have been working with acrylic and polycarbonate systems for over 25 years. Many of our aluminum framing systems are specifically designed and engineered to house polycarbonate glazing.

Polycarbonate systems are a very good product that should last a minimum of 20 years or more. In many applications it is less expensive than glass or FRP panels. More common applications include skylights and wall panels in industrial buildings, all types of canopies and covered walkways, and daylighting for retail and office applications. Because of its durability, it is also a great product for play areas, gymnasiums, and transit shelters.