Palram / Palsun FAQ Polycarbonate and some Q of Acryllic

http://www.palramamericas.com/FAQ/
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 projects.
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 cement work? 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 polycarbonate products? 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 face outwards? 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 off? 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 avoided.
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 particles. Warranty details can be found in the Downloads tab under the Warranties section at the bottom of the page for each individual product.
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Do Palram products keep the "heat" out?
Palram products are available in a variety of colors (varies by
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wrote:

They list 25 sealants that were compatible when they ran their tests. They say that sometimes the maker changes the formula without announcing it.
And 17 sealants that were not compatibles.
I recognize less than half the makers, and less than half of the brands of makers I knew, and practically none of the products of brands I knew. But maybe if I take the list with me, I'll find that I have a memory deficit.
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replying to micky , Stan Schultz, Director of Marketing, Palram Americas wrote:

One of Palram's biggest challenges is to provide a list of compatible sealants without taking on liability for products Palram does not produce. Unfortunately, even after we test a product, it is possible that a sealant manufacturer might change their formula in order to improve performance or lower cost. They do not inform us of these changes, and they could result in a product that is incompatible with our products.
Generally speaking, the products on our list are products we have been able to secure through domestic purchases, or that have been submitted by our customers to confirm compaitibility. If fact, testing a specific product that a customer submits for compatibility is our preferred method. If you have a product you'd like to use, you may send it to us at Palram Americas, 9735 Commerce Circle, Kutztown, PA, 19530 and we will run it through our series of tests. Please be sure to include product info, where it was purchased, your contact info, and intended application. Once complete, we will provide our results. You may also submit a specific sealant product name and web site link where the product can be purchased. We will attempt to purchase the product for testing and include the results in our list. The most expedient way is to submit the sample itself though.
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replying to micky , Stan Schultz, Director of Marketing, Palram Americ wrote: Micky, your feedback about our site is useful and will be referenced as we work to improve it over time. We recently added the ability to sort FAQ's by product. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to go through our entire database of FAQ's and assign each to a specific product or a family of products. We intend to do that project over time though.
Our goal is to make it easier to determine which FAQ's relate to just one specific product (i.e., Palsun UV), or if the answer relates to a series of products, or to an entire category of products like polycarbonate or PVC.
We do our best to keep our web site completely current with our latest info, so if you are ever looking for the most current sales sheet, brochure, installation guide, or video, you'll fine it at http://www.palrmamericas.com . (note: Palram.com is Palram's International/HQ web site; PalramAmericas.com services North America, included the USA, Canada, and on occasion, Mexico)
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