A dividing wall makes a sitting area in the garden, family room or a terrace much more useful. When the sun first shows itself in the spring, but it is still too cool to sit outside or a safe play section for your kids, a polycarbonate wall provides a pleasant shelter for sitting outdoors and safety for your kids indoors. It is not difficult to make a polycarbonate wall, but you must take the foundation and mounting of your windshield into account. In this blog, we explain how you make a windshield form polycarbonate sheet.
Make a divider wall from polycarbonate sheet
Polycarbonate is an ideal material for a divider wall, it is 30 times stronger than glass and also much lighter. Polycarbonate is available in a clear version and also in variety of thickness. Polycarbonate is UV-resistant, but make sure you opt for solid polycarbonate. Before you start building a dividing wall, you must take the wind strength into account, which is largely determined by the location where you want to build the windshield if being build for outdoors. If this is in an open space, then the frame and the foundation must be strong. If your wall comes close to an existing building, the foundation does not have to be as solid. We always advise you to secure on the side of caution and make the foundation strong in any case.
Step 1: Create the foundation
In this example, we assume a wall with upright wooden posts with polycarbonate panels in between. If you have the option to place the dividing wall with one side against a wall, then you should definitely do this. For the foundation/frame, we use hardwood posts of at least 4 by 4 inch. These posts must be driven at least 20 inch into the ground. Make sure cement them and let it cure if done for outdoors. Always check whether the post is level with the ground. The post that comes up against the wall is attached with cement or secure screws.
At the bottom, fix connecting pieces between the uprights, these stabilize the bonds between the posts themselves. Make the connecting pieces from the same material as the posts and secure them between the posts using corners from your local hardware store.
Step 2: Order the polycarbonate sheets
We will cut the polycarbonate sheets for your wall, and you can find a range of different type of U-profiles that can also be lit from the floor side at your local hardware DIY store. Screw these U-profiles against the posts and on the connecting pieces, cut the corners at 45°
45 degree cut at the base
When the U-profiles are mounted, the polycarbonate sheets can be placed in position. When ordering, take into account the thickness of the U-profiles and the expansion of the polycarbonate. Measure between the U-profiles and subtract 5 millimeters from the width, due to the expansion of the panels.
To prevent the glazing from rattling, we recommend using foam pads between the polycarbonate sheet and the U-profile.
What thickness of polycarbonate sheet do you need? For a width of 24in, a sheet thickness of 6-6.4 millimeters is sufficient. We recommend a sheet thickness of 9-9.5 millimeters from a width of 3 feet. Match the dimensions of the U-profiles to this: use U-profiles 2 millimeters wider than the sheet thickness. With a sheet thickness of 6.4 millimeters, go for a U-profile of 8.4 millimeters, so that you can be sure that the polycarbonate sheet, including the foam tape, fits well.
Step 3: Installing a polycarbonate sheets
Screw the U-profiles against the posts and the connecting pieces, making sure that the three separate parts of the U-profiles fit together well and are properly aligned. Polycarbonate can now be prepared for assembly. Place the first sheet on a soft surface, such as a towel, to prevent scratches on the surface. Remove the protective film from both sides and stick a strip of foam tape along the edges of the acrylic, on both sides of the sheet. Now you can lower the acrylic sheet into the U-profiles from above.
Install the remaining polycarbonate panels in your new wall in the same way.
Step 4: Finishing off the construction
After the panels have been installed, you can finish your wall. By mounting a wooden beam on top, the panels are nicely held in position and your windshield gets extra strength. You might also consider supporting the screen in the middle and at the end for even more strength.
Step 5: Preserving polycarbonate sheet
We strongly recommend preserving the polycarbonate so that it stays beautiful for longer and is easier to clean. The best thing to use for this is antistatic cleaner. This agent cleans the surface and makes the polycarbonate antistatic, this keeps your wall clean for longer and makes it easier to clean.