November 2012

A Strong Alternative: Polycarbonate Glazing Materials
This greenhouse shows a typical installation of CO-EX materials using curved and flat sheet.

Polycarbonate is a tough, transparent thermoplastic material that is characterized by high impact strength. Since its inception, it has been used where safety concerns are at the forefront space shuttle windows, astronaut visors and industrial eye protection. Today, polycarbonate has found a large audience as an architectural sheet product, replacing traditional glazing in skylights, sidelights, greenhouses, transportation shelters, walkway covers and many other applications requiring strength and transparency. Learn more.


Inside this issue

A Strong Alternative: Polycarbonate Glazing Materials
Insulation Value of Polycarbonate Sheets
Let the light in with plastics in architecture

Expand Your Knowledge

Insulation Value of Polycarbonate Sheets

Polycarbonate is light weight, easy to install and allows abundant natural light into interior spaces. In addition, polycarbonate boasts the best fire rating among plastic products and has excellent insulation properties, all leading toward the design and construction of safe, energy-efficient agricultural buildings

There are two alternatives available for covering greenhouses: a soft cover using polyethylene or a hard cover using polycarbonate. Because most greenhouses not only shelter flora and fauna but also state-of-the-art equipment, a hard, polycarbonate cover is most often selected.

Learn more.

Technical Advisory: Polycarbonates

Polycarbonates are high-molecular weight, amorphous engineering thermoplastics that have exceptionally high-impact strength over a wide temperature range.

Polycarbonates are characterized by an excellent combination of toughness, transparency, heat and flame resistance and dimensional stability.

The insulating and other electrical characteristics of polycarbonate are excellent and almost unchanged by temperature and humidity conditions.

• For more information, see Introduction to Plastics, the IAPD guide to plastic materials and applications.

Let the light in with plastics in architecture

Maximize natural light without compromising material strength, energy savings, design possibilities and fire resistance with plastics in building applications.

Did you know that polycarbonate has an impact strength that is 200 times stronger than glass and 10 times stronger than acrylic?

Learn more

More Plastics Resources

Introduction to Plastics is more than an introduction
It's everything you need to know about more than 50 plastic materials commonly used today in industry, signage and visual merchandising, building and construction, and pipe, valves and fittings. This book provides such details about plastics as:

  • Their comparative properties
  • How they're made
  • Appropriate applications
  • Processing and fabrication techniques

Learn more

Get to know your distributor

IAPD distributors are your best source for finding materials for your application.

Go to to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.

The IAPD Magazine is online

IAPD is pleased to announce the digital edition of the October/November issue of The IAPD Magazine, featuring the annual IAPD Source Guide.

The digital issue is easy to read on computers, laptops and tablet devices and can even be viewed on smartphones.

Follow us

International Association of Plastics Distribution
6734 W. 121st Street, Overland Park, KS 66209 USA |
Phone: +913.345.1005 | Fax: +913.345.1006

Designing with Plastics is published by the International Association of Plastics Distribution. While every effort has been made for accuracy, IAPD encourages you to verify information with a plastics distributor to ensure you select the correct plastic products to meet your needs.