Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the lead time for orders?
A. Shipping time is 3-4 days from receipt of a purchase order.
Q. What colors are polycarbonate sheets available?
A. Multiwall Polycarbonate: Clear, Bronze, Opal, White, Softlite and Hammered. (Blue and Green are available by special order.) Corrugated Polycarbonate: Clear, Bronze, Opal, and Softlite.
Q. What is the longest length polycarbonate sheet in stock?
A. The longest sheet is 48'. Every order is custom cut per customer’s specifications.
Q. How wide are the sheets AmeriLux stocks?
A. Agrilite: 38", TRUSSCORE™: 16”, Corrugated: 50" and 74", Multiwall: 47.25", 48", 71.25" and 72". Special size widths are available by special order.
Q. How will the polycarbonate panels be shipped?
A. A custom wooden crate is built for each order. A crate can hold up to 2,000 pounds of product.
Q. What carrier do you use for shipping your panels?
A. Common carrier or our own full-service freight transport company.
Q. How are multiwall panels cut?
A. Use a razor knife or a circular saw with a carbide tipped saw blade (a triple chip grind tooth design). Always support and clamp sheets before cutting to reduce vibration. Feed the sheets through slowly to avoid chipping but steadily to prevent heat build-up.
Q. How do you cut corrugated polycarbonate sheets?
A. A circular saw is best for straight, long cuts. Use either a vertical band saw or hand-held jigsaw for curved cutting. In all cases, a fine-toothed blade should always be used. Cutting should be done at a high speed but low advance rate. If making a pointed turn, first drill a hole where the two cuts are to intersect and then cut through the hole. Properly support and clamp sheets to minimize vibration.
Q: What is the difference between “corrugated polycarbonate” and “multiwall polycarbonate” sheet profiles?
A. Corrugated polycarbonate is a single layer sheet characterized by either a wave or box-type profile, similar in design to metal roofing sheets with “peaks and valleys”. Multiwall polycarbonate is characterized by a rectangular hollow structure “flutes” that run the length of the sheet. Multiwall sheets are fabricated in many configurations such as twin-wall, three-wall, five-wall, and five-wall x-structure.
Q. What type of screw should I use when installing polycarbonate panels?
A. It is important to choose the correct fastener for your specific application. We recommend using a #12 woodmate screw for wood and a #12 self-drilling screw for metal, such as aluminum or steel. (Fasteners should penetrate the roof or wall of your structure by at least one (1) inch.)
Q. Do I need to use a washer with the screws?
A. Yes, Use at least a 1/2" non-conductive EPDM bonded washer. It is okay to use a larger washer. (Minimum outside diameter of washer needs to be 1/2".)
Q. What type of sealant should be used on sheets?
A. Only use a “100% silicone” sealant on polycarbonate sheets. Silicone sealants do not degrade in sunlight. They resist mold and mildew and remain flexible, allowing for building movement. Do not use roofing caulk. Consequences of using incompatible sealant are inadequate adhesion, too rigid of a bond, and/or the product contains chemicals that may discolor or damage the polycarbonate sheet. Check the product information on the sealant label BEFORE using to ensure compatibility.
Q. What are polycarbonate H- and U-Channels used for?
A. A polycarbonate H-Channel is used to join two multiwall polycarbonate sheets together, providing a finished, professional look. A polycarbonate U-Channel is used to cap off the top and bottom of a multiwall polycarbonate sheet, preventing dust, bugs, and moisture from entering the flutes.
Q. How can I get my H- or U-Channel to slide onto the sheet?
A. Try rubbing a bar of hand soap or squirting mild liquid dish detergent on the edge of the multiwall sheet. This will aid in sliding the profile on. A putty knife may be used to gently pry open the profile. After the profile has been installed, use a soft wet cloth to remove any excess soap.
Q. Can panels be nailed into place instead of screwing?
A. It is not recommended to nail sheets rather than screw. Polycarbonate expands in hot weather and contracts in cold. Pre-drill and screw panels in place to allow for panel expansion and contraction with temperature changes.
Q. Is it necessary to pre-drill holes before installing polycarbonate sheets?
A. When it comes to the installation of polycarbonate sheets, pre-drilling is a must! Pre-drilling allows for the sheets to expand and contract due to changes in temperature. Failure to pre-drill can result in the sheet warping and/or cracking around the screw.
Q. Are there any products that can help keep heat out?
A. All of AmeriLux sheets are UV protected however that does not mean all sheets will block heat equally. Clear panels will allow the most heat and light to come through while opaque colors reflect heat.
Q. How do you clean polycarbonate sheets?
A. A mild household detergents may be used with a soft rag. Never use aggressive or abrasive cleaning agents or glass window cleaners; they can chemically attack sheets.
Q. Can you walk on polycarbonate sheets during installation?
A. No, do not walk directly on polycarbonate sheets. Polycarbonate sheeting is not intended to support the weight of a person. Use stepping ladders or place crawling boards between two or more rafters to create a path for walking.
Q. How do I bond two pieces of polycarbonate sheet together?
A. Polycarbonate sheets can be bonded using various techniques including adhesive bonding, solvent bonding or mechanical fastening. We recommend using Urethane Laminating Film if there is a concern about optics. If optics is not a concern, we recommend GE Silicone RTV108 or GE Silicone Construction Grade 1200.
Q: What is the difference between direct light and diffused light? A: Direct light is intense, bright light coming from a single source one direction. Direct light creates sharp defined, deep shadows and flattens out three-dimensional detail. Diffused light is a soft light with neither the intensity nor the glare of direct light. Scattering in many different directions, diffused light is spread over and reflected around objects, and does not cast harsh shadows.
Q. What is the better polycarbonate choice for a hobby greenhouse: Multiwall or Corrugated Polycarbonate?
A. This would depend on what climate you’re in, style of greenhouse, and whether the greenhouse is used year round. Both multiwall and corrugated panels are lightweight, durable, and easy to work with. Both are also UV protected to help prevent yellowing and deterioration from sunlight. Corrugated panels are less expensive but the single wall construction offers less heat retention. If you are looking for more insulation, consider a multiwall panel. The multiwall construction improves thermal efficiency, making the extra investment worth the energy savings.
Q: What is LEED?
A: Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party building certification process developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. This green building certification program recognizes best-in-class building practices and is an internationally recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. LEED is a performance-based rating system. The four levels of certification are: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Q. Do I need special tools to install TRUSSCORE™ Liner Panels?
A. TRUSSCORE™ panels require no special tools or training to install. The tongue-and-groove interlocking system makes both vertical and horizontal installation quick and easy. Cut panels using a fine tooth blade (12 to 16 teeth per inch) with the blade installed in the reverse direction. Fasten in the center the slots with a drill/screw gun, leaving a minimum of 1/16” between the back of the fastener head and the nailing flange to allow for expansion and contraction.
Q. Are multiwall polycarbonate panels strong?
A. Yes, multiwall polycarbonate is a lightweight yet extremely durable and impact resistant plastic. Multiwall panels are 10 times stronger than acrylic and 200 times stronger than glass. The UV-protected surface helps maintain the panel’s clarity and mechanical properties, offering superior weatherability. Virtually unbreakable, multiwall polycarbonate is a versatile solution for a variety of glazing applications.
Q. What can I use to cover the gap at the peak of a post frame building?
A. A polycarbonate ridge cap is the perfect solution for covering the point where two roofing panels meet, keeping snow and rain out of the building while allowing natural daylight to come through at the peak.
Q. What is a LEXAPANEL™ Standing Seam Panel?
A. It is a polycarbonate panel with raised edges. A polycarbonate batten snaps over the raised edge of two adjacent panels to form a seam. LEXAPANEL™ delivers the strength, weatherability, clarity, and thermal insulation of the LEXAN™ THERMOCLEAR™ polycarbonate multiwall sheet.
Q. What is the minimum square footage for ordering LEXAN™ THERMOCLICK™ in special colors?
A. Custom or special colors require a minimum order of 2,730 square feet or 43 sheets of stock lengths. (LEXAN™ THERMOCLICK™ special order colors: Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, Purple, SCIR Blue, SCIR Green, and SCIR Grey. AmeriLux stocks LEXAN™ THERMOCLICK™ in Clear, Opal, and Blue.)
Q. Which of your products would you recommend for the interior walls and ceilings of a garage?
A. PVC Liner Panels are lightweight and easy to install. The bright white panels create a pleasant work space. PVC is highly resistant to chemicals, moisture, and mold. Virtually maintenance free – never requires painting or refinishing. Panels wash easily with soap and water.
Q. Why is there film on the polycarbonate sheets?
A. The masking film prevents scratching and damage of the polycarbonate sheet during transport, fabrication, and installation.
Q: Should I remove the masking film before cutting a polycarbonate sheet?
A: No, the masking indicates the UV protected side which needs to face outwards - towards the sun. Masking should remain in place to protect the sheet during all phases of fabrication and installation. Remove approximately two inches of film from sheet edges before installing. Remember to remove ALL remaining masking immediately after installation. Note: To avoid accumulated heat effects, store sheets in a cool, dry place out of the direct sun. Installing the sheets with the wrong side out will void the warranty.
Q. What can I do if the film is stuck to the polycarbonate sheet?
A. If the masking film is stuck to the polycarbonate sheet, gently rub with a soft cloth wetted with a product called Fels-Naptha or isopropyl alcohol. Pull off the film and follow immediately with a mild soap cleaning and thorough water rinse. (Fels-Napha is available at most local hardware stores.) Please do not use other chemicals or sharp objects to remove the masking!
Q. Where can polycarbonate sheets be purchased?
A. Please call our customer service department at 888-602-4441 and we can direct you to the nearest distributor.
Q. How do I clean out the debris from the interior walls "flutes" of a multiwall sheet?
A. When multiwall polycarbonate is cut to size, small particles of dust or plastic may become lodged in the open flutes. It is important that this debris be cleared from the flutes before installation. Remove debris a vacuum or blow out with compressed air. Do not flush the flutes with water because it may take a long time to dry out.
Q: Do I need to be concerned about thermal expansion and contraction when installing my polycarbonate panels?
A: Most Definitely! Polycarbonate panels will expand and contract due to changes in temperature. Polycarbonate expands in hot weather and contracts in cold. Figure about 1/32" per foot for 100º of temperature change with the greatest amount of expansion and contraction occurring during the Spring and Fall months. Fastener holes must be oversized to allow for this thermal movement.
Q: What is a daylighting system?
A: In structures, daylighting refers to the controlled admission of natural light into a building to illuminate the interior space. The best daylighting systems provide natural light without glare, delivering visual comfort and well-being. Daylighting systems promote green building design and can be divided into two main categories: top lighting and side lighting. Skylights and translucent curtain walls are examples of daylighting systems.
Q: What is Lumira® aerogel?
A: A dry silica particulate, Lumira® aerogel is a completely recyclable, lightweight insulation that repels water and retains its properties under compression. Aerogel particles deliver superior thermal insulation and light diffusion. Cradle-to-Cradle certified, Lumira® aerogel is designed to optimize light transmission in daylighting applications.
Lumira® aerogel is produced by the Cabot Corporation at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located near Frankfurt, Germany.
Q. What are the benefits to filling polycarbonate multiwall panels with Lumira® aerogel?
A. Multiwall polycarbonate daylighting systems are greatly enhanced by the inclusion of Lumira® aerogel. Lumira® aerogel increases the insulation factor, provides superior light diffusion, improves acoustic performance, reduces solar heat gain/loss, and decreases energy consumption.
Q: How thick is a corrugated polycarbonate sheet?
A: CoverLite® MR9” and MR12” corrugated polycarbonate sheets are .035 inches thick. LEXAN™ Greca (square wave) corrugated sheets are .033 inches thick. Corrugated polycarbonate panels make excellent coverings for a patio, deck, or greenhouse, allowing filtered light through while providing protection from the elements.
Q: Why is an anti-condensate feature important when choosing a greenhouse covering?
A: Condensation on the inner surface of a greenhouse covering reduces light transmission and increases the risk of disease. An anti-drip or anti-condensate coating reduces surface tension, encouraging water to condense not as droplets but as a thin layer. This condensation layer is diverted down the sides of the greenhouse instead of dripping onto plants. Benefits include fewer diseases, reduced need for pesticides, and higher quality plants.
Q: How to store and handle Polycarbonate and PVC panels during the winter months?
A: Polycarbonate and PVC panels can be stored outside temporarily in the rain or snow. Stack sheets on a raised platform protected from the wind. Even though the sun’s strength decreases during the winter, do not expose stacked sheets to direct sunlight. Cover with an opaque, protective material. Covering the polycarbonate sheets will also prevent dirt and debris from entering the flutes. Ideally, panels should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated, shaded area. Prior to installation, bring the Polycarbonate and/or PVC panels inside, lay flat (uncovered), and allow the sheets to acclimate to the temperature of the room where they will be installed or in a room with the same climate conditions for a period of at least 48 hours.
Q: What are closure strips?
A: Typically made of foam or plastic, closure strips are designed with a profile that matches the configuration of a corrugated panel. Closure strips seal the opening created where the corrugated polycarbonate sheet meets a flat surface, filling the gap in corrugated roofing and sidewall applications. Closure strips provide a finished, professional appearance and increase the weather-tightness of polycarbonate corrugated panels by preventing moisture, insects, and debris from getting under the panels.
Q: Can Polycarbonate or PVC be recycled?
A: Yes, Polycarbonate and PVC are recyclable materials. When possible, recycling is preferred to disposal or incineration. Landfill or incinerate in accordance with federal, state, and local requirements. Collected processing fume condensates and incinerator ash should be tested to determine waste classification.
The information provided on this webpage is only a general guideline. Exact requirements are project specific.