As I said in a longer thread, I realized I'd do better with thinner
polycarbonate, which would weigh less and put less strain on its
attachment points, and would be easier to keep in place while I was
doing the attachments, especially the first and second one.
The first sheet of polycarbonate I bought had no instructions in
English, only 3 or 4 graphics, one of them beyond my ability to
understand. It also had a url on it, www.sabic.com but I went there and
didnt' find any technical help. I searched again just now and nothing
The next sheet that I bought yesterday, from Palram, had about 15 lines
of good instructions in 4 languages right on the backing sheet, and a
URL which had a clear Support tab, under which was an FAQ link, and
there were lots of other good links too, many sorted by product, and
like what sealant works in lab conditions, and Palsun Technical Guide,
which I haven't read yet. So if you buy polycarbonate (or acryllic or
any plastic) at a a local plastic store or any store, you probably won't
have much choice what company makes it, but you can go to www.palram.com
and find good info about it anyhow.
Here are many of the questions from their FAQ. I only included
questions that related to my conv. rear window project, or which I found
interesting. If you're going to work with polycarbonate or acryllic,
you should read the rest of them. Most of the others relate to large
Oh. Only 5 questions specifically for Palsun. And all were included
in the list of all. Of course, now that I think about it!
1 Why do I have to predrill fastener holes?
2 Do Palram products keep the "heat" out?
3 How long do the panels last?
4 Is there a paint that is appropriate for polycarbonate?
5 My building inspector says I need to know your flame spread rating.
Can you provide this information?
I copied all these below before noticing that they were for all
Palram products. Then I went back and looked for just Palsun, which
is the product they sold to me.
I am using the Suntuf polycarbonate panels for a roof over my deck. Is
there a recommended cement I can use on this material? Will clear PVC
No, don't use PVC cement. PVC and polycarbonate do not react well. For
sealing silicone is safe and generally works well.
How can I determine if a sealant is compatible with Palram's
Palram tests various sealants for compatibility with its polycarbonate
product. We attempt to purchase sealants that are widely available at
home improvement stores and lumber yards. Click here to learn more about
sealant compatibility and to download a list of product that have been
tested. [There is a link and a pdf file to dl.]
I need to bond two sheets of Palruf PVC roofing along one edge where
they will overlap by one corrugation. Will the cement used on PVC pipe
also work on Palruf? I am more interested in the strength of the bond
than in it being waterproof.
If this is going to be used outdoors, the sunlight may break down the
PVC cement and create some crazing in the Palruf. You may want to
consider an adhesive caulk that is compatible with PVC. The PVC cement
used for piping is sometimes tinted blue. The bond from this type of
adhesive will be good, but the fit must be snug. The PVC Pipe cements
are not meant to fill gaps. The other word of caution is ventilation.
These cements are loaded with solvent which evaporates upon curing. The
solvent attacks the surface of the PVC to make a bond. Again, the better
choice would likely be adhesive caulk that is compatible with PVC.
How do I cut these panels?
Corrugated and Multi-wall panels may be cut with a circular saw (using a
very fine-toothed blade for plastic panels, veneer, or plywood). For
best results, it is often better to cut a few corrugated panels at a
time to reduce vibration; clamping the panels also helps. Also, if using
a standard circular saw blade, better results may be seen by running the
blade backwards (turn it over to reverse direction). Panels may also be
cut by hand by carefully using tin snips or a utility knife. For other
cutting instructions and further details, please visit each product's
document page. You can also view our general Corrugated Products
Installation Overview video.
Why do I have to predrill fastener holes?
Predrilling the holes insures the panels will have room to expand and
contract properly with temperature change. Skipping this step can lead
to distorted or warped panels. Please be sure to read the installation
instructions located on the specific product's document page.
Why can't I just nail the panels into place?
There are a couple of problems with nailing Palram panels. First, there
is significant possibility for impact damage to the panel in the area of
the attachment. Second, nailing the panels in place prevents them from
safely expanding and contracting with temperature change, resulting in
warping of the product. Please be sure to read the installation
instructions available on each product's document page on this website.
Do I really need to buy Palram's recommended closure strips and screws?
In order to ensure long-term warranty coverage, it is highly recommended
to use Palram-approved fasteners and accessories. Palram corrugated
products, fasteners and accessories should be thought of as a system
meant to provide the best possible installation. Proper use of the
complete system (panels, closure strips, fasteners, etc.) greatly
reduces the possibility of problems and insures that product warranty
will be honored. Please see the installation instructions for the
specific product for details.
If polycarbonate sheets block UV radiation, why is there a UV side to
Polycarbonate blocks UV radiation by absorbing it. This absorption
mechanism might degrade the material, and the sheet has to be protected
against it. Protection to the sheet is achieved by coating it with a
special material that converts the UV radiation into heat that emits to
the external air layer.
In order to protect the sheets, they must be installed with the
marked UV protective layer facing outside. Although sheet products can
also be UV protected on both sides, most of the sheets are protected on
one side that is marked clearly.
Do the sheets expand in heat?
Yes. Plastic sheets expand with heat, and shrink with cold.
As engineering plastics, PC and PVC demonstrate limited
expansion/contraction Vs other plastics, however this change in
dimensions should be considered. The use of enlarged screw holes in
corrugated sheets (and aluminum profiles in multi-wall and solid sheets)
are standard methods that should be followed. Always use the guidance in
Palram installation instructions.
Example 1: A 5 meter long Suntuf sheet will add up 3.25mm when the
temperature is raised by 10ºC. or 18F
I am adding: The usual range here is at most 10^ to 100^F = 90^,
which is 5 x 18F, so 5 x 3.25mm = 16.25mm / 5**
since so short = 3.25mm
on the length, 1.6mm on the height.
It's a coincidence that the divisor here is 5 and also for degree
range. Since my sheet is not 5 meters long, 195 inches, only 40 inches
long, about 1/5 the length, divide by 5.
Example 2: A 3 meter**
* long Palopaque solid sheet will shrink by 2.0mm
when cooled by 30ºC.
* 3 meters 118 inches, versus my 40 inches, 1/3 the length, so if I
had that, it would shrink by 2/3 mm when cooled by 30^C or 54^F. A
full mm when cooled by 81 degrees F.
Also, I'll be mounting not to wood or steel studs, but to canvas with a
vinyl edge when the weather is about 50^to 59 F, right in the middle of
the temp range.
--- end of question about heat---
Why are there polyethylene films on certain sheets and should I peel it
The surface films in certain sheets, like Sunlite and Palsun sheets, are
needed for protection against dirt and scratching, and also used to
carry important information to the installer and final customer. The
indication of the UV protected side that should be installed facing
outwards is extremely important.It is recommended to peel off the
protective films only after installation. In case this will not be
feasible and the film will be peeled off before laying the sheets, it
must be remembered to at least mark the UV protected surface, so that
the sheet will not be installed inside out.
Note: wrong installation damages are not covered by Palram.Please
also note: Surface protective films that cover sheets are highly
sensitive to heat and direct sunlight. Excessive heat and direct
sunlight before taking off the film can cause gluing of that film to the
sheet surface, after which it will not be practically possible to remove
it from the sheet!
Is it OK to screw in fasteners using a power screwdriver or screw gun?
Adjustable electric screwdriver is allowed, provided you set the torque
to the minimal needed, in order to prevent over-tightening and local
deformation of the panel. For that reason, pneumatic tools should be
What should I use to clean my panels?
Warm water with a mild household detergent should be sufficient to clean
Suntuf or Sunlite panels. Wipe off any remained dirt with a soft cloth
and wash again. NEVER use a solvent based cleaner (ammonia, etc.). AVOID
using sponges or brushes that can scratch the panels surface.
How long do the panels last?
Palram manufactures a variety of different products for different
applications. Most have industry-leading warranties against
manufacture-related defects, as well as specific warranties related to
the intended use for the product. However, with proper installation and
maintenance, we expect our products to far exceed the warranty periods.
Many of our products are engineered to be installed outdoors and are
warranted accordingly. Nevertheless, the lifespan of outdoor products
can be affected by how well they were installed, as well as
environmental factors like air pollution, winds, and erosion by sand
Warranty details can be found in the Downloads tab under the
Warranties section at the bottom of the page for each individual
Do Palram products keep the "heat" out?
Palram products are available in a variety of colors (varies by
Click to see the full signature.