polycarbonate

Has anybody used this material to build a greenhouse or passive solar collector. I am not familiar with the material. How easy is it to work with? Are there any places like Home depot or Lowes that might carry it or do you have to order over the Internet. How clear is it and would it be OK to use in front of a window?
Dave
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It would be a good greenhouse, I don't know about solar collector though, but I'd guess yes.
As for clarity, it is used as window glazing in place of glass. It is used for windows on airplanes. It will be available at many sources from window shops, hardware stores, plastic sheet suppliers. Lexan is a brand of polycarbonate.
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I've used it to make ports and hatches for my boat. also made some front bumpers for AGV's for the plant I ran. it works fairly easily with common woodworking tools. I bought mine from a plastics wholesaler by the full sheet. You can get it in various thicknesses and clear to various tints.
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work

it or

it be OK

We just had our little deck covered with it. It is clear. Birds won't land on ours, I think because they can not see the bottom. It is very nice.
aloha, Thunder smithfarms.com Farmers of 100% Kona Coffee & other Great Stuff
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Dave writes:

Expensive. Ages rapidly in sunlight. Susceptible to many oils and solvents.
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Rich is right on. There *are* ploycarbonate sheets with UV filtering coatings. This must face outside to protect the sheet. Polycarbonate has a soft surface and will scratch easy. This may be a concern if clarity is an issue.
Why not use acrylic? While polycarbonate is the toughest, acrylic still has many times the impact strength of glass, it is much lower cost and it won't haze over in the sunlight. While it scratches easier than glass it is less suseptable to hazing due to fine surface scratches than polycarbonate.
John
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there are a variety of polycarbonate products and coatings. see: http://www.gelexan.com/gelexan /
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