One of the better ways to extend and maximize use for the patio or any other outer space whether it be residential, commercial or public, is a Pergola. A pergola is a typically large outdoor structure (but could also be indoors), freestanding and or attached to a house. Pergolas consists of columns which supports a roofing grid of beams, rafters and subframes, all of which can either be left open or covered. The addition of pergolas to an open space creates an additional area for storage, relaxation and more.
Back in the days, the most commonly used roof cladding sheet that is cheap, light weight, and provide visible light transmitting properties (if any) is an inexpensive material called Fiberglass. However, Fiberglass is not a high visible light (VIS) transmitting material, stains very easily, and not exactly a durable either; its biggest selling points is price, which is said to be the cost of a happy-meal in the 80’s, and clearly you get what you pay for.
Benefits of Polycarbonate Pergolas
Ease of construction : One of the main benefits of building polycarbonate pergolas is the ease of construction. Since the weight of polycarbonate sheets and its supporting columns, beams, rafters and subframes required are all light to medium duty, unlike wood and metal pergola. Depending on the size of the covered area, a complete setup can literally be a D.I.Y. job, completed by one to two persons, without the help of any professional builders. The polycarbonate sheets can also be pre-cut at the shop, or easily modified with basic tools on-site, making it one of the most versatile of pergola covering materials out there.
Extremely High Strength : Polycarbonate pergolas are usually built on commercial or residential areas where there are people around or directly underneath. Polycarbonate have extremely high impact resistance, and in extreme circumstances where damage does occur, sheets do not shatter into millions of pieces flying shards and become high velocity projectiles that would hurt or destroy.
Extreme Weather Resistance : Polycarbonate sheets for pergola coverings are manufactured to the highest standards, tolerant to extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +120°C while still retaining its function and mechanical properties. This makes polycarbonate sheets suitable for all areas around the globe.
Easy to Clean and Maintain : Polycarbonate sheets can be cleaned easily by simply using lukewarm water or neutral detergents (ex. mild dishwashing detergent). Utilizing a soft sponge or cloth made from 100% cotton can also remove any dust or stains.
Huge variety of color choices and high-performance properties : One of the advantages of polycarbonate is its ability to maintain high clarity even after adding colors, the composition of color additives can also be adjusted to the point that the colors become opaque, and therefore, offer minimum light penetration. It is also possible to paint over polycarbonate sheets with the desired colors, the choices are endless. Extra high-performance features such as heat reduction, IR block, and spectral selectivity can also be achieved with the help of special additive and coatings.
Below is a list of properties combination Vulcan Polycarbonate sheets have to offer:
- Maximum Natural Light Penetration: Valuview Clear/LiteGuide Series
- Maximum Natural Light + Diffused Indirect Light Penetration: Valuview Opal/LiteGuide Series
- Maximum Natural Light Penetration + Solar Infrared Heat Reduction: Solarshield Green/Blue IR-Cut Series
- Shaded Light Penetration + Interference Color Reflection: Valuview Green/Blue/Bronze/Grey
- Shaded Light Penetration + Interference Color Reflection + Solar Infrared Heat Reduction: Ti-Lite Blue/Green/Silver/Bronze
- Shaded Light Penetration + PAR Selective + Solar Infrared Heat Reduction: Pearly
Aside from the huge selection of physical and aesthetic properties, Vulcan polycarbonate sheets also offer different budget options to choose from.
The budget-friendly option. Vulcan offers corrugated polycarbonate sheets in ROMA, GRECA, MINI, and TRIMDEK profile options. The above listed properties are available in all of the profiles. Contrary to the notion of budget-friendly meaning cheap, corrugated profiles are considered budget friendly due to the fact that it is the thinnest and lightest among profiles with the same width and length, which translates to a lighter structure, fewer parts and accessories required to support the weight. All corrugated profile sheets block 99% of harmful UV rays and resistant to hailstones.
Multiwall Hollow Polycarbonate
Multiwall hollow profiles get the name “hollow” from featuring a cellular structure with two or more walls joined together with connective ribs, creating an insulating air space. This is similar to the conventional onion peel principle when it comes to wearing clothes. The polycarbonate sheet walls are like separate layers of clothing, and the cellular structure are like channels, trapping heat in between, hence the good insulation properties people rave about polycarbonate hollow sheets. Hollow polycarbonate sheets are still considered light and do not require a significantly stronger structure over corrugated sheet, and can easily be cold bent to form a curved roof. They do require additional accessories such as polycarbonate or aluminum joining systems such as H-profile connectors, U-profile caps, glazing bars and caps, and fasteners to clamp sheets in place.
Solid Flat or Embossed Polycarbonate
Solid Flat and Embossed polycarbonate sheets are considered the top tier of pergola covering materials on the market. Solid Flat and Embossed sheets are usually framed or cladded in the same manner as glass, and only requires additional rabbet depth for insertion, or clearance for thermal expansion and contraction, both of which can be easily modified on existing structures intended for glass, and if not, also costs less to replace due to the light weight of polycarbonate sheets, which require less material and labor. As with Multiwall hollow profiles, Solid polycarbonate sheets are usually fixed using framing or Insertion or Clamped fixing methods. Aluminum is usually the material of choice for frames and glazing bars type fixture, as it is more than sufficient to support the whole setup.
Be it form over function or function over form, VULCAN offers the most lucrative polycarbonate sheet options for your polycarbonate pergolas – we have you covered. Contact your nearest dealer or us for more information and details on choosing the most suitable polycarbonate pergola covering.