I’ve noticed some of the plastic components on my farm equipment are cracking and fading. I looked into having them repaired and painted, but custom-colored paint is really expensive. Is it possible to get new parts that won’t suffer sun damage and don’t require paint?
– Farmer MacDonald
Dear Farmer MacDonald:
UV exposure can have damaging effects on plastic. When choosing which plastic sheet to use, it’s important to consider your application. A product that will be exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lighting can suffer from UV damage, including discoloration, a chalky appearance, brittle surface area and loss of impact strength if it’s engineered using certain materials.
To combat these issues, plastics processors use their own type of “sunscreen.” There are two types of UV protection available:
- UV Stabilizers – The plastic extruder adds a UV stabilizer to the resin prior to extrusion. This protects the plastic from long-term degradation.
- UV-Resistant Caps – This option entails an additional layer of UV-resistant material, often acrylic, co-extruded over the base material. This laminate layer makes the color of the material UV-stable.
Both of these options are cost-effective – you can bet the farm on it!
– Joslyn Manufacturing
At Joslyn, we work with nearly every type of thermoformed plastic to find the best material for your project.
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