Why choose acrylic over another light-transmitting plastic glazing?
Acrylic glazing offers a unique blend of long life and high light transmission. The polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) molecule naturally resists degradation by energetic UV photons. UV can more easily break the polymer bonds of polycarbonate and polyethylene, causing yellowing and loss of strength. The same long-life PMMA molecule has excellent optical clarity, maximizing light transmission to plants. Our premium ACRYLITE® greenhouse product transmits 89% of PAR, nearly 20% more than a similar geometry of polycarbonate glazing. Glazing with acrylic provides optimum growing conditions for decades.
What other benefits does ACRYLITE® acrylic glazing provide?
ACRYLITE® glazing includes 3 styles for greenhouses: an 8 mm double skin, a 16 mm double skin and a special wide-rib 16 mm double skin called ACRYLITE® Alltop. All styles include our NO DRIP coating. Water condensing on NO DRIP spreads into a film, scattering less light than droplets of water. The coating also sheets water away instead of dripping on plants. ACRYLITE® Alltop goes further, with NO DRIP coating on all inside surfaces and the top surface. The inside coating films water in the channels, and the outer layer prevents algae growth and eases cleaning. In addition, the low rib count of ACRYLITE® Alltop means less light is scattered for higher overall light transmission. Both 16 mm products provide a center-of-glass U-factor less than 0.5 Btu/ft2-hr-°F. A low U-factor saves energy and reduces operating expenses over the life of the greenhouse.
Does ACRYLITE® transmit UV light?
The natural UV stability of ACRYLITE® acrylic allows us to offer both UV-blocking and UV- transmitting versions. The UV-blocking versions are suitable for many growing operations not benefitting from UV light. In these cases the plants do not need UV light to thrive or operations are improved by shielding the interior from UV light. However, other important crops do respond to the stress of UV light. The UV-transmitting version of ACRYLITE® Alltop is popular in these applications, where it reduces the need for supplemental UV light and increases the yield of high-value plants.
How do I install ACRYLITE® roof panels?
ACRYLITE® Multi-Skin panels are captured in bar and cap aluminum glazing systems. These glazing extrusions provide sufficient edge support for expansion and contraction while resisting dis-engagement. Typically they contain top and bottom gaskets that minimize stress and prevent water intrusion and air exchange. Some bar and cap systems include a thermal break to reduce the overall U-factor of the installation. A proper glazing system also collects and drains condensate from the panels.
Do you work directly with growers?
In the greenhouse industry we partner with manufacturers that carefully design and source long-lasting, efficient greenhouse structures. In most cases we cut ACRYLITE® panels to their exact specifications and deliver to the job site. We provide technical support to the manufacturer, and to owners and operators throughout the life of the installation. In addition, ACRYLITE® greenhouse coverings are backed by an industry-leading warranty with coverage for light transmission, yellowing, strength and hail.