Marine locations, including shipyards, boats and commercial docks, are rugged work sites. Such areas are exposed to numerous harmful environmental elements, from saltwater to strong winds. Protecting lighting systems with sturdy materials is one of the best ways to overcome extreme marine sites, which includes polycarbonate. These days, the amorphous thermoplastic is applied to a range of industrial products. Examples such equipment includes protective eyewear, shatterproof covers, lighting lenses and more.
Polycarbonate gets its durable features from a specific chemical reaction that takes place between bisphenol A and phosgene. Interestingly, this is the same process used to manufacture bulletproof materials and surfaces.
Compared to fiberglass, it can withstand harder impacts (up to four times). Furthermore, the robust material is less prone to dents and deformation experienced with impacts or rough handling on stainless steel-based surfaces. From a cost perspective, polycarbonate is cheaper to acquire and implement in product manufacturing.
In the application of polycarbonate for industrial lights, the material is usually transparent (used as a lens cover). However, it can also be manufactured with a diffused layer, which is applicable to decreasing glare in busy work sites.
Extreme Marine Work Sites
Operators in marine work sites favor polycarbonate because it is non-corrosive, with an operating temperature range of -31 ̊F to 180 ̊F. When used in wet or damp locations, the material is suitable for achieving stringent IP or NEMA ratings for industrial fixtures.
For marine environments, polycarbonate can reduce warping and help maintain the integrity of fixtures on the work site. Since the material is UV resistant, operators do not have to worry about maintaining a UV coating for protection. To streamline protection, manufacturers may incorporate UV stabilizers and other additives. Polycarbonate is also particularly useful for mitigating the negative effects of mainstream acids commonly found in cleaning agents and rainwater.