Ultraviolet (UV) radiation and transmission of acrylic sheet
Although ultraviolet (UV) radiation amounts to only 3% of the total radiation that reaches the earth, it is energetic enough to cause chemical reactions, weathering of polymers, fading of certain dyes and even eye damage.
The UV spectrum is commonly divided into three ranges:
- UV-C, 200 - 290 nm
- UV-B, 290 - 315 nm
- UV-A, 315 - 400 nm
Wavelengths in the UV-A range are responsible for tanning and pigmentation of the human skin. Wavelengths in the UV-B range cause the most photochemical degradation in plastics as well as sunburn. UV-C radiation is absorbed in the ozone layer and never reaches the earth's surface.
Colorless ACRYLITE® cast (GP) and ACRYLITE® extruded (FF) sheets have very small amounts of light transmission below 345 nanometers. In the range from 345 to 395 nanometers, the light transmission varies with sheet thickness. Between 395 and 1000 nanometers, all thicknesses transmit 92%. Smooth, colorless ACRYLITE® cast and ACRYLITE® extruded sheets are warranted for ten (10) years to not undergo a change in light transmission exceeding 3%.
ACRYLITE® UV filtering OP2 (ultraviolet filtering) sheet is a cell cast sheet product that absorbs approximately 98% of the incident UV light. It is used in museums to protect old documents and artifacts from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV Filtering OP3 (ultraviolet filtering) sheet is a continuously manufactured sheet product that absorbs approximately 98% of the incident UV light. It is used in picture frames and shadow boxes to protect photos, posters and other valuables from damaging ultraviolet rays.