There are a number of common misconceptions relating to multi-wall polycarbonate sheeting. This section is designed to educate users and dispel some of the myths related to the problems encountered when working with this material.
Why is condensation a problem for multi-wall polycarbonate sheets?
Condensation is a naturally occurring phenomenon in multi-wall sheets due to relative atmospheric humidity. Water vapor naturally forms as droplets when they meet cooler surfaces. These droplets conjoin to form liquid in the multi-wall flutes or cells. AntiDUST® filter tape has a unique surface treatment that encourages rapid evacuation of collected condensation without compromising the size of the micro-mesh barrier that keeps other contaminants out of the cells. Condensation is also the lifeblood of algae and fungus as both need water to survive. The quicker it is removed the better. What we see with many competitors products is it simply does not drain thus creating conditions suited to algal reproduction.
Where can I buy AntiDUST tape?
International Trading Partners is the exclusive importer of the AntiDUST tape into North and South America. We have local stock with 1-2 day lead times for shipping. For fast friendly service simply email us with your details and a phone number where you can be contacted and one of our support staff will respond within 1 business day.
Is it better to use breather tapes on both ends of the panel?
This is a common misconception. The standard recommended practice when fitting a typical sloping roof using multi-wall panels is to close the upper end with our G3600 tape and then tape the lower end with the AD3400 or AD4500 vent tapes. Venting both ends is sometimes done but one of the main drawbacks is it that it affects the insulation properties of the multi wall sheet. However it is necessary with barrel vaulted roofs to use venting tapes at both ends.
Why not just seal the sheet ends to keep condensation out?
Considerable research revealed a number of unusual phenomena associated with multi-wall panels in relation to condensation. The suggestion was made that both ends of multi-wall panels should be sealed to eliminate the condensation problem. This has been tried under practical conditions and it was evidently not a solution as condensation still formed within the flutes. Further analysis revealed that even if the multi-wall sheets were sealed under almost vacuum like conditions condensation would still appear.
It was concluded that the surface of the multi-wall behaved like a semi permeable membrane and water vapor could penetrate the panels. Thus the need for continuous drain-ability using AntiDUST® tape to offer an exit for the condensation.
Why use AntiDUST® tape?
There are a number of potential problems including dust, algae, fungus, insects, condensation, drainage etc. that can affect the aesthetics and life of multi-wall sheets. Our range of AntiDUST® tapes are the most advanced and fully integrated protection systems available to users of multi-wall systems. Working in partnership with manufacturers like Sabic (formerly GE) we collaborated on research for the ultimate solution that would considerably extend the sheet life through its guarantee period and beyond.
We produce the original, most innovative and guaranteed system used in this application and our global network means it is available to you no matter what part of the world you live in. Email us and one of our support team will call you to answer your questions and discuss your needs.
What is the difference between the original AntiDUST® tape and other so called alternatives?
Our AntiDUST® tapes were designed for a specific purpose. We did not make something that already existed fit the role. Working with leading multi-wall polycarbonate manufacturers we looked at a raft of problems, developed specific solutions and then combined them within a carrier to deliver the components where they were needed to give the maximum protection to the inner cells of the polycarbonate sheets.
Most cheap breather tapes use a non-woven polypropylene fabric or foil material in their construction. This material in their basic form have no magical properties. They simply have two strips of adhesive applied to them then they are slit, rewound and sold pretty much in their original form offering little or no added value as the protection they offer multi-wall sheets is minimum and of short duration. The full-width breath-ability of this type of construction is quickly undermined by its own waterproof repellent nature as it can demonstrably trap in the moisture it is promoted as removing.
AntiDUST® tape is designed exactly for this purpose. A specially selected non-woven fabric is incorporated, treated, coated with a special biocide compound, and processed into various adhesive formats. The resultant product offers serious protection against a raft of problems thus providing long term protection for years to come!
Why does AntiDUST® tape drain condensation so much better than other breather tapes?
One of the main features of the original AntiDUST® tape is its rapid drain ability. This feature is made possible by a special surface treatment that actively contributes to the effective removal of excess moisture within the cells of multi-wall sheets and as a result of this surface treatment, we enable the pore size to remain at its most effective and keep out the small particles of dust.
The enhanced capillary action that is witnessed by users of our products is a result of a special formulation and careful treatment during our production process. At certain times of the year the volume of condensate that needs to be evacuated from the cells increases.
Are algae and fungus the same and which is the most problematic for multi-wall sheets?
Algae thrive in daylight, spreads rapidly infesting its surrounding environment by producing airborne spores. Its pigmentation comes from a drought resistant UV protective sheath which encapsulates algal cells protecting from desiccation. Although microscopic when they propagate they appear as dark green (Nostoc Commune), red(Trentophilia Aurea) or black stains(Anacystis Montana). Ongoing research continues to be conducted by construction and roofing bodies as they view this as such a serious problem.
There are many different types of Algae, and there are 5 main types identified which commonly attack material incorporating multi-wall plastics. Multifoil in conjunction with various botanical institutes have formulated a chemical cocktail which effectively deals with these unsightly invaders and this formulation is in line with all accepted legislation relating to its use.
The algal problem by its persistent nature requires us to constantly strive for ongoing solutions and a large part of our focus is to develop more refined delivery methods to aid you in protecting your investment against this constant source of disharmony. Fungicide components do not treat, prevent or cure algal ingression and vice versa. Algae is the most unsightly and genuine problem that affects multi-wall sheets. Our specially formulated combined biocide treats and prevents these organisms throughout the guarantee period and beyond in many cases. Algae is prolific and spread via airborne spores into the surrounding environment.
Does the fungal treatment in budget breather give adequate protection?
No – Polypropylene based non woven fabric systems were designed for use in agriculture and horticulture. Fungicide is added by the producers of this product to reduce fungal attack on its surface as they often are used in environments where they are prone to this type organism. Fungus thrives in the dark and the end caps used on conservatory roofs offer an environment to this end. Fungus can grow here if untreated. It still remains that the most unsightly threat to multi-wall sheets by far is algal growth in the visible area of the cells which budget tapes do not address.
Basic polypropylene non-woven is water repellent. The naturally occurring condensation that manifests in all multi-wall sheeting fails to pass through the fiber as its water repellent nature causes it to sit on the fabric. This creates a fertile area for algae to manifest and collect and when no algaecide is present. Claims that the water repellent nature of polypropylene keeps out the water that cause condensate are not true. (see section on why not just seal ends)
What range of formats are available for AntiDUST® tapes?
We produce full width vent tape – AD4500 series and our Classic version – AD3400 series along with our robust sealing tapes – G3600 series. Roll lengths can be varied subject to discussion and agreement. Upon request we can offer various format combinations with regard to the length and width of the rolls to suit the sheets you are using. As of January 1, 2020, we now offer the most advanced vent tape on the market, the AD3500 series as well as the Click Fit vent tape for your interlocking tongue and groove polycarbonate panels.
For special requests please call or mail us and we will be happy to help you with your inquiry.