There are various types of construction panels in the market and each choice has its unique benefits and disadvantages. Composite panels are some of the most popular products used in modern construction for their benevolent properties. Polycarbonate translucent panels have also become quite popular and represent innovative advancements in the construction industry. These two are the top compared options when looking for thermal efficiency. Both have incredible benefits and are easy to work with. However, each is only appropriate for a given set of needs. Here is a descriptive review of the two materials, their properties and used.
These are factory designed and engineered panels meant for application in non-residential buildings. They are usually used for partitioning, cladding, roofing and load-bearing walls. Metal facings are used in a panel construction procedure that mainly relies of continuous lamination encapsulating a lightweight polyurethane core. Steel or aluminum is used in the lamination and they are sometimes called sandwich panels because of the interaction of two different materials. The outcome composition offers a great degree of rigidity and stability as well as load bearing. Most composite panels are manufactured in thicknesses that range from 30mm to 200mm depending on the application for which they are required and requested insulation properties.
There are various types of constructions of composite panels manufactured including single units, high insulation value, structural value (with air and water barrier), removable panels, low cost and surface treatment panels. All are meant for different applications and have their own advantages. Removable panels for instance offer easy property refurbishment.
Working with composite panel –
The use of composite panels has grown over the last years mainly spurred by the industry’s need to use panels that have high thermal insulation, are tough yet lightweight. They also offer simple on-site installation and have become the preferred panels for many architects. The construction is based on the high thermal insulation value of polyurethane. Aluminum or steel adds strength to the panel without adding much weight.
Benefits of composite panels –
The advantages of composite construction panels over other alternatives are quite obvious and straightforward. These panels are tough, lightweight and with high thermal insulation values. They are easy to use and install taking only a short time to finish projects thus cutting down the labor cost for owners and project managers. They offer an exciting dimension in construction as they produce a wide range of surface finishes. The panels can also be used with other molds for the roof and allow the construction of striking architectural beauty.
Environmental perspective –
Composite panels used as building solutions offer compliance to several environmental considerations. They are seen as outstanding thermal insulators that reduce the overall energy cost of heating and cooling. They offer long life application thus minimizing resource use. They also result in the least emission of green house gasses in manufacturing, transporting and installation. Composite panels are loved by many since they are so easy to mount on the building’s sub-structure. They are also arguably more affordable when compared to other options like site assembled panels.
Polycarbonate translucent panel
Polycarbonate translucent panels are other popular choices in modern construction for various reasons. These construction panels are an amazing alternative to the much fragile glass walls and panels that storm the market a few years ago. They bring in daylight properties to your buildings and offices. They are mainly used in walls, windows, interior projects and skylights as well as canopy shades and awnings. This makes them ideal for both residential and commercial application. You can find polycarbonate translucent in business entrances or home garages. Like the name suggests, these panels are made using compact translucent polycarbonate pressed to form tough glass-like surfaces that feel solid yet allow light to pass through.
Polycarbonate translucent panels are made using a process known as extrusion where the polycarbonate grains are transported through a special tube that presses them and pulls them on the other side as finished panels in the same way a laminating machine works. They are usually made 60cm to allow easy access during site installation. Manufactured panels are often 12 meters long for easy transportation but can be as long as 33 meters when ordered.
Working with polycarbonate panels –
Ever since the invention of the first translucent building, polycarbonate panels have been on the rise and are taking over buildings. They are very easy to work with and depict incredible stability as walls, windows, vertical and diagonal panels. They also offer flexibility in construction and their production is strictly certified after thorough testing. They are easy to install in place and limit horizontal seams which can add weakness to a building.
Benefits of polycarbonate translucent panels –
The advantages of these panels include high thermal insulation which can be increased or reduced during construction (U-0.25 R-4 for a 40mm thick panel). They are obviously an aesthetic appeal and make any building look good if not better. Since they allow sunlight inside, there is no longer a need to turn on overhead lights during the day and this saves you energy bills.
Environmental perspective –
Polycarbonate translucent panels offer long life, durability, ease of cleaning, electricity saving and easy manufacturing. They are compliant with many environmental considerations and perform quite well when compared to on-site assemblies. These panels have already taken over construction in various developed regions including Singapore and more people now want walls that allow light to pass through. They are the recent advancements along with glass pool fencing and glass walls.
Both composite and polycarbonate panels provide high thermal insulation values and are perfect for that feat. They are also strong, durable, environmentally friendly, easy to manufacture, transport and install. For owners, they are cost effective and lead to construction of striking architecture. However, composite panels cannot let in light which is their main undoing when compared with the translucent polycarbonate panels. Nonetheless, they offer strong solutions for roofs and horizontal load bearing floors which the glass-like polycarbonate cannot offer. Composite panels are more stable than polycarbonate and have a higher load bearing value. Other than these two differences, the two construction panels perform fairy even in most fronts. They are heavily tested before approval and are cheaply available.