Polycarbonate vs Glass


Glass is one of the most well-known materials. Like polycarbonate, plexiglass/PMMA and fiberglass, glass is very transparent, have a transparency coefficient of between 0,80 and 0,90. If used for coverings it is normally put through a thermal tempering process, in order to enable it to be shock-resistant and not to be dangerous. By putting it through the above mentioned treatment, in fact, it prevents the fragments from splintering on impact and therefore prevents risk of injury to those who use it. In contrast with plastic materials, glass sheets, if exposed to shock, shatter into small sharp pieces forming a “concentric spider web”.

It proves less resistant when compared with plastic material, in fact it is easy to break it when putting it into use. It only supports up to 10 Joules of load, and has a mechanical resistance of approximately 170 N/mm² (values for thickness of 4 mm) and, taking into account its intrinsic weight, it needs strong anchoring when being used for projects that hang, such as roof platforms and the like.
Out of the materials on the market, glass is currently not recommended if roof platforms or other self-supporting structures are required to be made.

In summary we can say:

Advantages of glass:

Transparency
Not being affected by chemical agents
Disadvantages of glass compared with polycarbonate

Easy breakage and fragmentation
Weight of the material
Less resistant
More expensive than plastic materials

Advantages of polycarbonate:

Thermal and mechanical resistance
Toughness and Resistance
Load bearing and Wind pressure resistance
Lightness
Transparency
Ductility
Fire resistance
Thermal insulation
Recyclability and Ease of cleaning
Variable thickness


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