To build a high-quality greenhouse on the backyard, most gardeners prefer to choose modern, high-quality translucent plastic (polycarbonate). It’s became a worthy successor of the traditions of glass, which was previously used for the arrangement of greenhouses. What type, color and width of the polycarbonate should be chosen for the greenhouse, and is it necessary to protect it from ultraviolet rays?
Polycarbonate type: monolithic or honeycomb
Polycarbonate for greenhouses – the optimal solution for arranging a good greenhouse by every owner. High-quality modern polycarbonate for the greenhouse must have the appropriate technical characteristics. It is lightweight – even the reinforced version of the material is light. The strength does not suffer at all. The level of thermal conductivity of polycarbonate for greenhouses is several times less than that of glass we are used to. This is achieved due to the cellular structure, which allows you to maintain the optimum temperature inside the structure. Polycarbonate transmits the rays of light better than glass do.
The effect of dispersion gives the chance to forget about shading of the greenhouse. Sometimes the manufacturer supplies the material with a film that can protect it from excessive UV radiation. Modern material is better tolerated by mechanical stress and resists the vagaries of the weather. At destruction it does not form a scattering of fragments, it has a high degree of fire resistance. It has a convenient overall dimensions. The installation of the greenhouse can be done even for beginners without professional equipment.
Classification of polycarbonate implies its division into cellular and monolithic types. Honeycomb is a transparent hollow material, the walls of which are inside. The sheet is similar to a sandwich, between the dense walls of which the stiffening walls are perpendicularly arranged. Cellular polycarbonate weighs very little – 15 times less than glass. When replacing glass with this material, no additional fasteners are needed. Plastic is very flexible, which makes it possible to create a structure of complex shape. What technical features are most important to cover the greenhouse.
Cellular type of material has a light transmission capacity of up to 86%. The monolithic type has no voids inside the sheet, like a honeycomb. In appearance it looks more like glass, only more durable. It weighs more than a cellular, and has a higher cost. Any type of material is also called profiled because it can have a smooth or wavy surface. What type of material is better? Monolithic is more aesthetic in appearance, and the second is more practical and functional. The choice is always yours.
What width of polycarbonate to choose for the greenhouse?
An important parameter for the subsequent working of polycarbonate experts call its width or thickness. Factory sheets of material are offered in a wide range – from 4 to 2, 5 mm. Four-millimeter material shows a tendency to deform, but is popular among gardeners in the arrangement of greenhouses. There are sheets that have an even greater width – up to 8 mm. They are used for the construction of outbuildings or cover canopies. Depending on how wide the sheets you will use to build a greenhouse, it will be necessary to choose the allowable radius of its curvature, the structure of the panels, the minimum distance between the supports and the like.
It is important to make competent calculations of future snow and wind loads on the structure, air temperature in winter and summer periods. For standard medium-sized greenhouses – 3 to 6; 2, 8 to 8; 3, 2 by 10 meters it is permissible to use sheets having a width of 4 to 8 mm. If the winter in the region does not have a temperature below 26 Celsius degrees (-15 degrees fahrenheit), and in the summer the thermometer does not rise to +34 (93 degrees fahrenheit), then there will be enough material of such width.
Choosing the optimal color of greenhouse polycarbonate
You should not be surprised, because the question what material color is better to choose is important. To decide which color to choose, it is worth considering that plants need a lot of light. This is true for the spring and winter period. Different manufacturers offer excellent transparency panels – some are more “clean”, others less. Turquoise and blue color is not suitable for the construction of a greenhouse – it changes the appearance of things, can be used as an advertising version of the material.
To decide which color to choose, you need to think about the rationality of using colored material. Transparent transmits the sun’s rays through the walls by almost 90%. Frosted, which is used by gardeners to protect plants from possible burns, provides light penetration in the greenhouse by 65%.
This can slow down the process of photosynthesis and adversely affect the normal development of plants. Plants receive less light if less amount of sunlight gets into the greenhouse through the structure. It is permissible to choose a material of any color, if it is important for owners that shades of green, blue and red absorb three times more light. In areas with a favorable climate and the absence of strong winds, it is recommended to give preference to yellow color.
The ability to transmit light from such materials is up to 72%. At cultivation of mushrooms and berries it is better to choose polycarbonate of more dark shades – green, brown, red color. It is better to abandon the use of blue or turquoise. It does not allow light streams necessary for normal photosynthesis of plants. If you have access to low-cost electricity for heating and lighting a polycarbonate greenhouse, you can build it from a material of any shade at will.
Does polycarbonate need UV protection?
Consumers are advised to pay attention to the presence of UV protection material. Experts and experienced gardeners are confident that such a parameter is necessary for quality material. Surface UV coating is one-sided, two-sided or the introduction of a protective layer in the structure.We recommend to purchase materials with one- and two-sided coating for the construction of a greenhouse on the garden plot. If protection is included in the composition, then its percentage should be more than 46 and not less than 30%. This applies to all types of structures designed for outdoor use. You may check independently that characteristics – they are indicated in the passport or certificate for the goods.
To build the most adapted, reliable and fruitful greenhouse, the choice of polycarbonate should be approached as responsibly as possible.
Polycarbonate Greenhouse Kit
When creating ClimaPod greenhouses, we have already taken into account all the parameters of polycarbonate to create a high-quality and affordable product. In the ClimaPod.com online store you can choose a greenhouse kit in sizes from 7×12 feet to 9×42 feet with strong and light-weight aluminum frame and 4 or 6 mm UV-protected polycarbonate. This is quite enough to withstand snow thickness up to 12-15 centimeters without destroying the structure. You will find all the necessary fasteners and parts in the kit and you do not have to independently calculate and design the frame of the product. We have already done everything for you! Go to Greenhouse Kit Store now.
Tags: building a greenhouse, greenhouse kit, polycarbonate