There has been a lot of technological advanced in the construction industry.
A good number of people are seemingly resorting to the use of cost effective thou very durable materials to construct their building and greenhouses.
Good roofing materials should reduce the roofing cost in all aspects. That is, the initial installation costs and the subsequent repair and maintenance costs.
For this reason, it is actually not astonishing to see a number of people going for plastic roofing sheets as a perfect choice for their roofs.
There are quite a number of plastic roofing sheets which are being used in the construction industry.
However, the plastic corrugated sheets have dominated the industry due to the numerous advantages they offer. A corrugated plastic sheet basically appears in three layers.
That is, the two flat sheets with one ribbed center. The design resemble the traditional corrugated iron sheets. Despite the fact that there are three layers, they are conventionally referred to as the plastic corrugated sheets.
In addition to this, the term corrugated roofing materials may also be used to refer to sheets of a single plastic material which take the wave-like profile.
Sometimes, they are also reinforced with chopped glass fiber. Such roofing materials are mainly used in constructing sheds, garages, etc.
How are corrugated plastic sheets constructed?
The thermoforming process is a widely used process in the manufacture of various types of plastic materials.
Plastic materials such as polycarbonates can be manipulated several times without cracking. This makes them a perfect choice for a number of industrial applications more so when it comes to the manufacture of plastic roof sheeting materials.
To obtain a plastic material such as polycarbonate or polypropylene, all the atoms such as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen undergo a polymerization where a structure with long interlinking chains are formed.
The final structure also consist of aromatic compounds. The final property of plastic corrugated sheets depend on the manner in which this reaction takes place.
In fact, the all desirable qualities of the polycarbonate or plastic roofing materials depend on the above reaction.
For instance, the existence of the aromatic compounds prevent the crystallization process from taking place. This makes the polycarbonate materials to possess excellent optical properties, they can transmit over 90% of light.
The thermoforming process which is used to produce polycarbonate sheets is called extrusion. In this process, the molten plastic material is pumped through the screw mechanism through a die.
This results in a desired profile. The most commonly used techniques are the mono and co-extrusion techniques. The choice of any technique will be determined by the precise profile which is required.
Properties which are unique to polycarbonate sheets?
Some of the most desirable properties of this plastic roof sheeting material include the following.
1.This material has a good dimensional stability which can be maintained for over a wide range of temperature. Its ability to withstand high level of impact is also another key feature why it is popularly used in most roofing applications.
This is one of those reasons why it is used in other applications such as in centrifuge tubes, laboratory safety shields and vacuum desiccators.
2.They are temperature resistant and they can withstand the ever fluctuating environmental temperature without losing their important mechanical properties such as strength. This is a key feature in any material which is used in the construction industry.
3.They are resistant to certain types of chemicals. During the polymerization process the linkages which exist within the chain can resist chemical reaction with quite a number of organic and inorganic compounds.
4.This material can transmit over 90% of light which has been one of the main reasons why they are used to make skylights and vehicles headlamps. Polycarbonate is one of the strongest transparent material available.
5.The twin wall polycarbonates have one of the best thermal insulation properties since they have air spaces in between the two layers of sheets.
This has been one of the main reasons why it is used to control the internal temperature of rooms. This also helps to save significant amount of energy costs.
Generally, these roofing materials have quite a number of advantages than most roofing materials which are available in the market.
The future of plastic roof sheeting
Generally, the roofing industry is very dynamic with people craving to have better roofing technology.
The use of plastic corrugated sheets have gained popularity in recent past with most manufacturers trying to improve on the properties of the existing polycarbonates.
One clear example is the research which has been going on about how the ultraviolet radiation affects the polycarbonate sheets.
Mostly, when polycarbonates are exposed to UV radiation for some time, they acquire a yellow color and degrade at the same time. This reduces the degree of light transmission which is an essential property of these materials.
Apparently, these materials can be treated thereby protecting them from the UV radiation. This actually increase their service life significantly.
Ideally, polycarbonate materials are not scratch resistant despite the fact that they have a high impact strength. These two coatings can also prolong their service life.
Crude oil forms the primary raw material from which the corrugated plastics are manufactured. This implies that the cost of manufacturing plastics thus, depends on the price of crude oil.
On the other hand, the price of crude oil tends to fluctuate more often which tend to affect the price of these essential roofing material.
Research is still going to improve on the existing properties of polycarbonates.
Ideally, a polycarbonate sheet can remain effective and efficient for the over ten years. The fact that it can react with some compounds limits the number of applications where it can be used.