Greenhouse plants require optimal conditions to thrive and the covering over the plants plays a critical role in the growing operation. So, when a grower’s livelihood is separated from the outside world by a single roof, it’s important for them to choose the best option for their greenhouse covering. Knowing how important it is to select the best option for a greenhouse covering can make the decision feel overwhelming. However, with the help of Roehm America, the choice can be made with confidence.
Roehm America offers growers the option to cover their greenhouse in ACRYLITE® multi-skin acrylic. According to David Morrison, technical service engineer for acrylic products at Roehm, the unique attributes of acrylic provide significant advantages to greenhouse operators.
One such advantage of acrylic is its light transmission. Compared to the light transmission of other materials, acrylic lets much more light through. Acrylic is also much clearer than other materials, which, according to Morrison, can often have a frosted appearance that you can’t actually see through.
Morrison explains that the high light transmission of ACRYLITE acrylic means growers will save money on supplemental lighting, since they can meet the daily light integral (DLI) needs of their plants with natural sunlight. Plus, the exceptional clarity of this product provides the most natural growing conditions and promotes vigorous and vibrant bloom color. Optimum growth response and shorter maturity time provide economic advantages that help increase growers’ profits.
In addition to light transmissibility, a material’s durability is also an important factor. Morrison explains that some less expensive options only last two to 10 years maximum before they need to be replaced.
“It’s cheap to replace, but you have that expense of replacing it continuously,” he says.
Over the course of many years, those replacement costs add up, not just in literal monetary expenses, but also in expenses of labor and time. When factoring in cost, it’s important for growers to consider the replacement costs throughout multiple lifecycles decades down the road.
Acrylic, on the other hand, is a much more durable material, and Roehm guarantees it as such. “We offer a 30-year warranty against yellowing and degrading, as it is much more resistant to weathering,” Morrison explains. This strength and durability are due to the unique polymers of acrylic combined with the geometry of ACRYLITE multi-skin sheet making the material inherently stronger than other multi-walled glazing. Thicker walls and ribs create a more rigid sheet of greater overall weight designed to provide high live-load carrying capabilities while allowing for greater span distances.
A final advantage of ACRYLITE acrylic comes in the form of insulation. According to Morrison, 16 mm double-wall acrylic glazing “is going to have resistance to heat flow” and will provide more insulation than other materials. This increased insulation results in more consistent temperatures and lets growers save money on temperature control. “Just like with lighting, the difference in the insulating value of heating and cooling a greenhouse over 20 to 30 years, is really going to have an impact,” Morrison explains. “There’s real dollars and cents there in terms of your energy savings over time.”