Polycarbonates come in a wide range of varieties and specifications, and as a result, the notion that ‘any polycarbonate’ will do within the lighting industry is an ill-judged one. Here at PQ we, therefore, ensure all our poly carbs meet the performance requirements set out in the building regs and BS EN 60598 standard.
In summary, it does what it says on the tin! Our poly carbs have been impact-modified to enhance their durability and, as a result, ensure our products meet the IK10 classification.
TP(a) is a classification requirement under in the building regulations, which outline any polymers used in luminaires comply to specific flame retardancy capabilities. Many factors can affect the flame retardancy of a polymer, like the thickness of the part itself for instance. However, here at PQ, we get our products tested by the LIA to ensure our polymers meet the TP(a) classification.
Given the opportunity, UV radiation from the sun will generally cause damage to almost anything, with plastics being no exception. Polycarbonates, however, are known to be one of the most resilient polymers against UV radiation. Our materials have UV stabilisers to increase their resistance to sun damage in addition to the advantages of using a regular PC. Other polymers have poor resistance to UV radiation, which is ordinarily one of the reasons many diffusers turn yellow over time.
In addition to a polymers flame retardancy to an open flame, materials also have a resistance to a heated element. Of course in lighting, this means there resistance to a loose electrical cable. The glow wire test simulates this, with a classification given depending on the temperature reached before the polymer ignites. Plastic components, therefore, must be compliant to 850 degrees at least. Here at PQ, we ensure all our poly cabs are tested by the LIA to ensure their 850 glow wire compliance.