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Does Polycarbonate Roofing block UV radiation?


Polycarbonate is excellent at blocking UV radiation, including UVA and UVB rays.  It works by absorbing UV rays and preventing them from passing through.  A thin polycarbonate sheet can provide better skin and eye protection than common sunscreen creams.  Moreover, polycarbonate allows visible light to pass through, allowing us to see colours.

Polycarbonate is a commonly used material for roofing in residential and commercial construction due to its UV-blocking properties.  For instance, polycarbonate roofs over swimming pools provide natural light while protecting bathers from harmful UV radiation.  This sets polycarbonate apart from other glazing materials like glass, acrylic, and fibreglass, which may require unique treatments to achieve UV-blocking capabilities. 


Although Polycarbonate roofs can shield people from harmful UV radiation, it is equally essential to use UV-protected sheets to maintain the durability and quality of the polycarbonate material.  Polycarbonate can turn yellow and discoloured without UV protection, eventually breaking down over time. 


All major brands, such as Laserlite, Palram and Ampelite, apply a thin, invisible UV protective layer to the sheets, ensuring their performance even under intense sunlight.  This layer can be used on one or both sides of the sheet, with one side typically being sufficient for roof installations.  Certain manufacturers of polycarbonate, such as Palram, utilize specialized testing facilities to simulate extended UV exposure.  This allows them to determine appropriate coating levels for various applications. 


When discussing polycarbonate and its ability to protect against ultraviolet radiation, it’s important to understand two types of protection.  The first is about protecting individuals and objects under a polycarbonate roof.  No matter the sheet’s profile, thickness, or colour, it naturally provides this UV protection, which is an advantage over other translucent materials. 


The second type of protection is maintaining the Polycarbonate sheet‘s performance and properties over time.  Good manufacturers incorporate protective layers during the manufacturing process to ensure longevity. 


If you’re installing Polycarbonate sheets on your outdoor structure, it’s crucial to prioritize high-quality UV protection to maintain their durability and increase lifespan.

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