Polycarbonate, also known as Lexan, is twice as light as glass, while being 250 times stronger: it is therefore widely used as a replacement for the latter! In this blog post, you will learn about the pros and cons of this material.

Advantage: fire-resistant

Unlike acrylic sheet, polycarbonate is perfectly fire-resistant. It also has the B1 fire rating, which means that it will not burn in contact with an open flame. polycarbonate sheet for solar dryer is in fact self-extinguishing and best for a dryer!

Advantage: vandal resistant

Polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable, making it the material of choice for safety glazing. It is therefore ideal for shelters, bicycle sheds, machines and technical products, illuminated signs or marine glazing.

Advantage: durable

Polycarbonate also gets known for its durability. It has a long lifespan while being fully recyclable. Our polycarbonate sheets are also resistant to UV rays, so they are perfectly suited for outdoor applications: think for example of a greenhouse, a boat window or a patio awning .

Advantage: insulating

Another important advantage of polycarbonate is that it retains heat very well, which makes it ideal for greenhouses, where an optimal microclimate for your plants will prevail.

Advantage: light

Polycarbonate sheets are twice as light as standard glass. They can therefore be used in many projects, such as making a patio awning .

Advantage: easy to process

Polycarbonate can be processed in the same way as acrylic sheet. While acrylic can melt if machined at too high a speed, there is no way that will happen with polycarbonate! The latter is more resistant, so that the risk of breakage is still very low. The material can thus be sawn , milled, engraved, drilled, bent (hot), glued and polished in the same way as an acrylic sheet.

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Disadvantage: sensitive to scratches

The main disadvantage of polycarbonate is its high sensitivity to scratches. So if a branch falls on a polycarbonate patio awning, it can be scratched. But don’t panic: this problem can be solved by polishing the material .

Disadvantage: possible dilation

The degree of expansion of polycarbonate is 0.065mm per meter per degree Celsius. As long as you keep this information in mind when machining, this shouldn’t be a problem! Just make sure the mounting holes are wide enough to prevent the bolt or screw from sticking when expanding the panel. Another important point: any glue or sealant used must be perfectly flexible.

Why a solar dryer? To dehydrate foods at low temperature to keep them alive!

What is the solar dehydrator?

Another way to preserve fruits and vegetables when the crops are bountiful is to dry your food, but not just any old way. The solar dryer, which does not exceed 39 °, allows food to be dried in a healthy and ecological way while preserving nutrients.

Desiccation or drying makes it possible to dry out food by eliminating the water contained in it. The less water a food is, the easier it is to dry. The water is removed by drying (some fruits dry naturally in the sun) or by heating. Deprived of water, microbes and microorganisms are hampered in their growth. During drying, the skin of the dried fruit thickens. Dried foods soaked in preferably hot water are easily rehydrated.

The advantages of drying

The dehydration home has several advantages:

  • keep the food in very good conditions , and without altering its taste.
  • no longer lose fruit and vegetables from the garden that are harvested in large quantities in season.
  • Much less distorts the nutritional quality of food than cooking.
  • allows you to eat vegetables in raw quality .
  • allows to receive important energy contributions with less food.
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This is a guarantee of better nutritional quality , because the dried fruits that we buy in stores have been dehydrated at high temperature and have lost most of their nutritional quality.

Drying at low temperature (trying not to exceed 40 ° C) preserves in the food a very large part of the enzymes, antioxidants and nutrients naturally present in the fruit, and necessary for the proper functioning of the human body : vitamins, minerals, oligo -elements, (see detailed table ). This method of conservation is very ecological and beneficial for human health (and for humanity). No need to inject preservatives like industry does, anti-oxidants not destroyed during drying take care of it!

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