Plastic sheet materials that offer high resistance to weather elements are great for outdoor use. The use of these plastics is not just limited patio covers or garage roofing sheets. Other applications include, but are not limited to fences, furniture, patio tables, playgrounds, outdoor kitchen cabinets, and counters. Plastics like fluoropolymers are at their cores stable to UV rays, making them a great choice for outdoor applications, whereas unmodified plastics have a high tendency to change their appearances and break when exposed to various outdoor uses. As polymer technology advances, it becomes easier to extend the lifespan of degradable plastic materials with coatings, additives, and/or co-extruded layers that make them suitable for outdoor use. The end result is an enhanced plastic with more weather-resistant features that can perform several outdoor applications.
Performance plastic can be handled easily due to their lightweights and provide long-lasting functionalities; these materials include acrylic, Polygal, and HDPE. Interestingly, they are available in various colors and thickness. With plastic, you can select the type of coating you prefer to enhance UV protection and resistance to scratches. Another factor that makes plastic a preferred choice for multiple applications is the fact that it doesn’t peel, chip, or absorb moisture. Little maintenance is required and it can be easily cleaned.
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It is important to know that your plastic service life is dependent on several factors; some of which include:
- Climate – the presence or absence of humidity and the temperature of the environment.
- Latitude – your location on the earth in line with the North-South position.
- The color of the plastic
- The geometry of the plastic
- The plastic orientation towards the sun
- Mechanical stress on the plastic.
Plastic materials like polycarbonate and acrylic sheets are used for outdoor glazing. These materials weigh less than half that of glass and provide more impact resistance than glass. In terms of transparency, acrylic sheets allow more light through its material when compared to polycarbonate.
Plastic For Outdoor Signs
Acrylic and polycarbonate sheets come in a vast array of colors and display certain physical features when placed in daylight or reflective light and transmitted light; hence, they are great for outdoor signs. These plastic materials are used to create various complex shapes, which include logos and letters. LED diffusing acrylic and polycarbonate materials are manufactured to diffuse light from LED lamps. They are used to increase the visibility of signs that have LED lights incorporated in them.
There are varying factors that determine the ability of your plastic to change color or fade over time. These factors include the UV stability of the pigment and the UV stability of the base polymer. These factors are slightly different from one plastic material to another. Enhanced plastic materials contain UV resistant cap layers or UV absorbers that increase their resistance to weather elements. Colors like green, yellow, blue, and red have a high tendency to fade over time due to the high loadings of organic pigments that are present in them.