SABIC Helps Lock in Future of Sustainable Greenhouse Design
As today’s horticulture industry is increasingly focused on sustainable production and tighter profit margins, SABIC answers this call by presenting its lightweight, durable polycarbonate (PC) LEXAN™ THERMOCLEAR™ sheet portfolio for greenhouse roofing and cladding at the 15th Hortiflorexpo IPM Exposition in the Shanghai World Expo and Convention Center (booth C203). SABIC’s LEXAN™ THERMOCLEAR™ sheet portfolio can help deliver better performance around critical challenges such as total cost reduction, energy saving, sustainability and improved yield of crops. SABIC’s presence at the Hortiflorexpo reflects the company’s commitment to provide the horticulture industry with high performance materials and systems for sustainable greenhouses that lead energy conservation through its lightweight for easy installation, special finishes and impact strength for easy maintenance, high thermal insulation and light transmission for energy saving.
“Of the total energy consumed in the greenhouses, roughly 65 to 85 percent is for heating, and the remainder is for lighting, transportation and other necessities. Here at the Hortiflorexpo, we’re excited to showcase how SABIC’s LEXAN THERMOCLEAR sheet products can help the industry reach its goals related to these costs and help them with improving yield and cost reduction,” said Lennard Markestein, Asia director of Specialty Film & Sheet, Innovative Plastics. “SABIC’s LEXAN sheet materials not only offer durability, high thermal insulation and long-term light transmission to increase energy efficiency but also provide unique solutions such as EASY CLEAN and DRIPGARD coatings that enables our customers to reduce maintenance costs by making cleaning of roof and cladding easy and help improve the yield of the greenhouses by preventing condensation damages of crops.”
Enhanced Performance to Reduce Cost
SABIC’s materials provide an outstanding balance of light transmission, lightweight, high impact strength and stiffness, offering potential alternatives to glass, acrylic (PMMA) and other commercial materials commonly used in the greenhouse construction.
With its insulation properties similar to those of double-wall glass, SABIC’s LEXAN THERMOCLEAR sheet products retain 50 percent more heat than single glass, contributing substantial savings ranging from 20 percent to 45 percent on energy demand. Further, SABIC’s material is more than 50 percent lighter than glass and virtually unbreakable, making it resistant to hail and easy and safe to work with. Due to its lightweight LEXAN sheet requires less and thinner profiles compared to heavy glass panes, thereby reducing transport and labor costs, facilitating easy and fast installation and enhancing sunlight coming from roof. In addition, it provides excellent UV- and flame resistance.
LEXAN sheet delivers up to 250 times the impact resistance of glass to reduce the risk of breakage from wind, hail and other extreme weather, as well as vandalism. The multiwall configuration of the product provides excellent thermal insulation. These critical properties ensure crops are sheltered from the weather, while they don’t spoil due to the formation of condensation and help increase the yield.
Wide Choice of Special Properties
EASY CLEAN coating on the outside surface of LEXAN sheet reduces the surface tension of the material and forms larger water or rain droplets to wash away dirt; leaving the sheet almost spotless. Furthermore, it stays clean for longer period of time, thereby reducing the frequency and the associated cleaning cost. DRIPGARD coating on the inner surface of the LEXAN sheet reduces the formation of condensation, ensuring continued high light transmission. Special SOFTLITE grade offers up to 79% light transmission combined with 100% light diffusion which reduces the “arc” or “rainbow” effect of the direct sunlight in the greenhouse, helping prevent strong light reflection and the shadow forming which may interfere with crop growth.
LEXAN THERMOCLEAR sheet is available in two or three wall rectangular multiwall structure and in 8-10 mm gauges, comes in clear, opal white and green (solar control) colors. These materials carry a 10-year limited written warranty against discoloration, loss of light transmission and loss of impact strength due to weathering. LEXAN THERMOCLEAR sheets are used worldwide for roofing, cladding and glazing greenhouses as well as conservatories, shopping centers, stadiums, office buildings, and factories.
State-of-the-art Production Facility in China
SABIC’s manufacturing facility in Nansha, China features world-class quality assurance processes, including a unique coating system as well as co-extrusion systems. The plant is strategically located next to SABIC’s LEXAN resin lines to drive fast manufacturing integration and application development. In China, SABIC also offers additional polycarbonate sheet products under its PLASTECH™ sheet brand name.