The textured flexible polycarbonate sheets are designed with patterned finish on one side of the sheet. These surfaces are mainly designed to improve the various characteristics of polycarbonate sheets which might have required the use of other additional materials. This directly affects the cost of a project. A good example is privacy. The ordinary polycarbonate sheets are generally transparent and its only through embossing that they can be able to regulate the amount of light passing through the sheet to less than 60% thereby obscuring vision. There’re quite a number of embossed polycarbonate sheets which are used in such applications.
The textured flexible polycarbonate sheets can control light diffusion and thus, they are a perfect choice in situations where an evenly distributed light is of essence; they are anti-reflective; they can conceal scratches etc. It is for these reasons that they are used to make labels in industrial applications, make office equipment, automotive dials, audio control fascias, glazing applications, etc. They are ideal for low gloss levels, excellent scratch resistance and ideal fit for LEDs.
The essential design features
The process of texturing polycarbonate surfaces is associated with quite a number of benefits with optical properties being very fundamental. But how does it affect the optical properties and what could be the major benefits to the ordinary applications?
depending on the nature of the textured surface, they can transmit between 40% and 72% of light. Remember, normal polycarbonate sheets can transmit up to 90% of visible light. Essentially, this makes it ideal for a number of applications such as partitioning. The degree of light transmission will always determine the nature of the application. Under normal circumstances, the textured flexible sheets are somewhat opaque to the UV light. This helps to protect graphics which are on the second surface and to prevent degradation.
The refractive index
the index of refraction is amount of deviation a light ray undergoes when it travels from one medium to the other. These medium should have different densities. Texturing the surface of the polycarbonate sheets is mainly aimed at manipulating the refractive index. That is; there will be circumstances where total internal reflection will take place (light bounces back and does not pass through the polycarbonate sheet). This will ideally reduce the amount of light passing through by more than 28%. Such sheets provide obscure vision.
this is another key feature with the textured flexible polycarbonate sheets. It is used to determine the amount of perpendicular light which is lost due to scattering effect. This can be achieved by making the light to pass through a non-transparent object or by bouncing it off a semi-reflective surface (the most basic definition). The textured surface improves the light diffusion which helps to eliminate shadows and the burning effect. This ensures that “soft light” is distributed evenly within a given surface area. For the case of greenhouses, it guarantees optimal plant growth and hence maximum production.
apart from the key optical features which have been listed above, these polycarbonate sheets are flexible. This is the reason as to why they can absorb high magnitude of impact without breaking or losing their key mechanical and chemical properties.