Yield Strength of Polycarbonate: Bends But Doesn’t Break

yield strength of polycarbonate

What Is The Yield Strength Of Polycarbonate?

Before we can explain the yield strength of polycarbonate, we need to first understand that yield strength, which defines an object according to its rigidity or pliability, is the point when the object becomes plastic instead of elastic. Its yield strength is the maximum amount of stress that a material is capable of withstanding before permanent deformation occurs.

Pliability is a factor that is significant when making selections of building materials. Because polycarbonate is justifiably touted as a superior material in terms of its strength and its flexibility, these features have shown that glass, once a very popular construction material, is inferior in the metrics that matter for architects, manufacturers, and consumers. Polycarbonate is soft, light in weight, and thin, but that doesn’t mean that it’s weak. In fact, polycarbonate bends, but does not break. Instead, it absorbs the impact. Glass, on the other hand, shatters.

Crunching The Numbers For The Yield Strength Of Polycarbonate

When we realize that polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than glass, and is able to resist temperatures up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit, we begin to understand the way in which the yield strength of polycarbonate affects the construction options available to architects.

Polycarbonate owes its strength to a powerhouse chemical structure, with the strong bonds exhibited by its molecules. Because polycarbonate boasts both strength and flexibility, it’s able to absorb the force of an impact and be restored to its prior shape. This feature gives polycarbonate the edge in terms of its resilience to weather: the force of hail, rain, snow, and wind packs a punch but polycarbonate is strong enough to take it.

Double Wall Sheeting Contributes To the Yield Strength of Polycarbonate

Double wall polycarbonate sheets are thicker, with multi layers that contribute to superior thermal insulation. Insulation is always a matter of concern for homeowners because energy efficiency is a priority for today’s consumers, who place an emphasis on environmental responsiveness. Those layers that fortify the insulating properties of polycarbonate also enhance this building material’s resistance to impact. As each layer is capable of absorbing a portion of the pressure, the effect of the impact is distributed throughout and prevents a single area from taking its full force.

When constructing a building feature that needs to incorporate flexibility into its function, double wall polycarbonate is preferred to solid polycarbonate, because it adapts more readily to movement.

Structures That Demonstrate The Yield Strength of Polycarbonate

Sometimes it’s easier to understand yield strength when we consider the types of products which use polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is bullet-proof, a feature which significantly enhances its usage in safety products such as goggles and riot shields. Double wall polycarbonate is often in the building of garages, carports, and conservatories. Solid polycarbonate is an excellent substitute for glass because it allows sunlight to enter, which is why it’s so often used in greenhouses.

The Difference Between Yield Strength and Tensile Strength

These two categories of strengths are important factors when the material’s critical mechanical properties are reviewed. While yield strength is identified as the maximum pressure that a material can bear until it reaches the point where it is no longer able to be restored to its original dimensions, tensile strength measures the maximum point of stress beyond which the material actually breaks. If a material is brittle, its tensile strength is the most important metric to consider. If it is a ductile material, then its yield strength reveals more about its performance capabilities.

Knowing the yield strength of polycarbonate is one of the ways in which the incredible flexibility and strength of this building material can be most appreciated. Glass can’t compare to polycarbonate.

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