The Atlantic hurricane season is currently in full swing. Each year, coastal communities prepare for storms that could make landfall any time between June and November. These storms can lead to major property damage and disruptions for communities. In fact, many businesses that experience closures from natural disasters are never able to reopen because of the significant damage sustained.
Hurricane panels can be a major benefit to businesses, residential properties, government buildings, and any other structures in these areas. Not only do they protect buildings, but they can also protect property and people inside, making significant damage and safety issues less likely. And polycarbonate is the ideal material to use for these building upgrades.
If you’re working on a building project in a hurricane zone or just want to upgrade your current property before the next hurricane season, here’s a look at how PC shutters can factor into your protection plans.
What Are Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels?
Hurricane panels are basically shutters or boards designed to fit over the doors and windows of buildings located in hurricane zones. The idea is for these panels to provide a protective barrier between breakable glass or other openings and the potentially destructive storms outside. Not all hurricane shutters are made using polycarbonate. But it has become an increasingly popular material since experts discovered how strong and impact resistant it could be years ago.
Polycarbonate, which is sometimes also referred to as PC, is a type of thermoplastic. It is known for being incredibly tough and impact resistant. In fact, it can be more than 200 times more impact resistant than traditional glass, making it virtually unbreakable in a variety of applications. So instead of shattering or cracking upon impact, most polycarbonate sheets will hold their form. Even if they do break due to significant force, they’re unlikely to fall apart completely, so they can still provide some level of protection instead of immediately breaking into dangerous shards like glass.
LEXAN is one of the most widely used polycarbonate brands, so you may sometimes hear it referred to as LEXAN plastic. Some manufacturers and polycarbonate companies even offer trademarked lines that were designed specifically for use as PC shutters in areas where hurricanes and severe storms hit frequently.
When it comes to manufacturing PC shutters, corrugated polycarbonate is often the material of choice. This type of sheet is similar in form to other types of corrugated plastic. It involves two panes of plastic that run parallel to one another with a wavy piece of plastic connecting the two in the center. Think cardboard, but made using strong, clear, impact resistant plastic instead. This material is often preferred because it basically offers multiple layers of protection. And it is relatively lightweight and easy to work with.
Benefits of Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels
Before polycarbonate was discovered as a strong, impact resistant option for hurricane panels, property owners often relied on wood and similar materials to board up windows and doors when storms were approaching. These materials certainly worked in some instances. But they do not provide anywhere near the impact resistance of polycarbonate hurricane panels. If a large piece of debris hit them directly while traveling at a high rate of speed, it would be fairly likely to damage the panel and then break the window behind it. Wood is also less practical than polycarbonate. It doesn’t offer clear visibility like plastic. And it sometimes requires multiple boards or panels to cover the entire opening.
Though there is no material that can completely eliminate the risk of major storm damage, polycarbonate is one of the best options currently on the market. It is very effective at absorbing the energy from the impact of flying projectiles. So panels are very unlikely to break or shatter when hit at a high rate of speed. In fact, local and state building codes in states like Florida where hurricanes are common have recognized polycarbonate as the preferred material for hurricane panels installed over doors and windows. When sold for this purpose, the material may even be tested to ensure that it can withstand impact from large projectiles traveling at high rates of speed. So customers can feel confident in the protection capabilities of the products they purchase.
How to Order Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels
Ordering PC shutters can be an effective way to protect a building or property from hurricane or storm related damage. To take advantage of this concept for your own property, find a polycarbonate company that works with top brands like LEXAN to offer high quality sheets. And make sure they have the capacity to cut panels to size so you can quickly fit them over doors and windows before the next hurricane season or major storm hits.
Polymershapes makes it easy to order PC shutters and other polycarbonate plastic products. We offer sheets in various sizes, grades, and dimensions to suit the specific needs of each client. We work with top manufacturers like LEXAN to ensure quality, and our facilities are outfitted with industry leading fabrication and conversion equipment to customize each order. Additionally, our key distribution sites are spread throughout the country to ensure fast shipping and personalized service. Outside of polycarbonate hurricane panels, we also provide a wide array of performance plastics including acrylic, corrugated twinwall, ABS, HDPE, and many others. If you’re ready to reap the benefits of PC shutters or any of these other plastics, use our website to reach out to your local Polymershapes branch or call us at 866-43-PSHAPES (77427) to order polycarbonate plastics.