Outdoor Use of Rigid PVC-U Sheets
For many years, rigid PVC and PVC foam sheets have proven their value as building material for advertising signs, site boards as well as transparencies or displays, and when used outdoors they have proved very reliable, even when faced with different climatic and environmental conditions.
Resistance to weathering
Resistance to weathering Komacel, Komatex and Komadur are weather-resistant (as well as moisture- resistant) which accounts for their high suitability for outdoor applications. This means that their original quality will remain unchanged for years. The white sheets are colour-fast. A change in the colour (fading) of dyed sheets might occur as the result of a higher absorption of solar radiation.
Solar radiation intensity
The limits of application are determined by natural exposure to UV radiation. For Komadur: up to 120 kly/year. For Komacel and Komatex: up to 140 kly/year (cf. table)
Sheets used outdoors (e. g. signs) should have a light surface (white, light grey, etc.). Large-surface, dark-coloured signs should not be used, as they, like any dark-coloured object, absorb considerable solar radiation and as a result may be damaged.
Climatic Conditions in Europe:
|City||Country||Overall solar radiation(kly/year)|
The darker the colour and the higher the surface temperature, the larger is the resulting change in length.
Surface temperatures of sheets in various colours.
Change in length by considering the difference in temperature, the length of the sheet and the coefficient of expansion
(α = 0.08 mm/m . °C)
Information on fixing of sheets when used outdoors
When used as outdoor signs, PVC-U sheets experience considerable temperature fluctuations. As with any comparable material, the coefficient of linear thermal expansion α (mm/m . °C) for the change in length under the influence of heat has to be taken into consideration. Coefficient of linear thermal expansion α = 0.08 mm/m . °C
PVC-U sheets from KoMMERLING are moistureresistant. Consequently, any change in length can be accurately predicted, as opposed to other manufacturers' products which undergo an additional moisture-dependent movement.
This change depends primarily on the maximum expected surface temperature and the sheet length used. By taking the coefficient of thermal expansion (α) and knowing the colour of surface (e. g. white), the difference in length can be computed as follows:
The basic temperature to be taken for computing this figure is the installation temperature. An increase in temperature results in expansion, a decrease in temperature results in contraction (shortening). Sheet contraction is based on the lowest outside temperature according to the climatic zone map (for Germany this amounts to an average of -15°C).
The change in length can be found by referring to the following diagrams (from -15°C outside temperature to +45°C surface temperature*, white is used in the example).
* Cf. diagram above
Sheets on wall surfaces
When putting sheets onto walls, care is to be taken that the sheets have sufficient ventilation. Ventila tion spacing should amount to a minimum of 2-4 cm. There has to be enough room for air to circulate e. g. with the help of a lath construction.
When constructing large signs, the inherent stability of the structure must be sufficient. Komacel 10 or better yet 19 mm are highly suitable for this purpose. In special applications, e. g. background advertising at athletic fields where the structure has to withstand violent impact (and jarring), Komacel 19 mm or extra impact-resistant sheeting such as 8 mm Komadur ES should be used.
Free-standing advertising signs
When construction large-sized, freestanding ad vertising signs, the structure must resist heavy wind load (additional reinforcement etc.).
The natural change in length when PVC-U sheets are used outdoors (e. g. advertising signs etc.) requires a mounting system which permits the sheets to expand/contract when subjected to considerable changes in temperature. One method consists in fixing the sheets with screws. In this case, holes or elongated slots are drilled.
It is important to leave sufficient space (play) between the screw shaft and the side of the hole.
We recommend using half-round or round screws according to DIN 96. Screws with a tapered screw neck should not be used (risk of sinking into the hole and limiting movement caused by expansion/ contraction).
Care is to be taken that the screws are tightened so that the sheet has sufficient play between the holes. Large washers should be used to cover the holes or elongated slots. They prevent the screw head from sinking into the hole. Elongated holes should be drilled when mounting sheets exceeding 1.5 m in length.
When mounting PVC-U sheets inside buildings, where there are only slight temperature fluctuations, the hole diameter only needs to be 1-2 mm larger than the screw shaft diameter.
In order to balance the slight tension resulting from the extrusion process, we recommend to stabilise the peripheral zones of the sheet e. g. using metal U-profiles.
Fixing with Screws
DIN 96 RUKO 50 X 40*
* = Round head screw acc. to DIN 96
An advertising sign made of Komacel 654 (white), measuring 1500 x 1000 x 10 mm, is to be mounted to a ven tilated substructure using screws. The screw shaft diameter should be a mini mum of 5 mm.
Determining the change in length and the hole diameter to be drilled: Min. surface temp. -15°C
Max. surface temp. +45°C (white)
Temperature differential 60°C
In addition, the hole centre distance from the sheet edge should be 2.5 times larger than the drilled hole.
Solution: round hole
Overall change in length
(diagram on p.3) = 7.2 mm
Hole anchoring point = screw shaft diameter + 2 mm = 7 mm
The change in length is reduced by half in each direction from the anchoring point, thus the following hole diameter is necessary:
Holes allowing for movement =
7.2 mm/2 + 5 mm = 8.6 mm
Hole diameter = 9 mm
As in example 1, however using Komacel, measuring 3000 x 1000 x 10 mm, screw shaft diameter 5 mm.
The dimensioning of the anchoring points is to be computed in accordance with the main direction of movement (direction of extrusion).
Movement crosswise to the direction of extrusion is less pronounced and the required tolerance for a sheet meas uring 1 m wide can be assumed to be approx. 3 mm.
Solution: Elongated hole
Overall change in length (diagram on page 3) = 14.4 mm
Hole diameter of anchoring point = screw shaft + 2 mm = 7 mm
Hole allowing for movement, elongated = 14.4 mm/2 + 5 mm = 12.2 mm
Holes allowing for movement
Another possibility for mounting in outdoor areas is frame mounting using metal U-shaped tracks which are very suitable for large sign façades. Movement of the sheets due to expansion or contraction is to be taken into account here as well.
Unequal-sided U-shaped tracks have proven to be the most suitable for this purpose. Care is to be taken that the substructure is sufficiently ventilated (lathing backing).
Large sign façade consisting of several Komacel sheets 654 (white), meas uring 3000 x 1000 x 10 mm (19 mm), mounted in a U-shaped frame. The following expansion joints have to be taken into account:
1. H-section between the sheets
2. beginning of frame
3. upper surface of frame
The following temperatures are assumed as in example 1:
Min. surface temp. - 15°C
Max. surface temp. +45°C (white)
Temperature differential 60°C
Installation temperature +20°C.
Assuming an installation temperature of 20°C, the total movement, i. e. expansion/contraction, of the individual sheet elements is as follows :
The temperature during installation is, therefore, to be taken into account and the expansion joints to be dimensioned accordingly (cf. sketch above).
Example for fixing large sign façades made of Komacel
Perimetric U-shaped frame
Change in width per sheet 4.8 mm
xb = 2.0 mm expansion
yb = 2.8 mm contraction
xb + yb = 4.8 mm in total
x = 3.0 mm expansion
y = 4.2 mm contraction
x + y = 7.2 mm in total
Change in length per sheet 14.4 mm
N. B. When positioning several sheets next to one another in a row, the X and Y measurement of the H-section are to be taken into consideration for both sides of the sheet.
Environment and Recycling
Komacel, Komatex and Komadur are build with nontoxic or very low toxicity material, and therefore won't reject any toxic material or ozone depleting agents, even on the long run. No use of formaldehyde, asbestos, lindane, PCB, PCP or FCKW has ever been used to produce our sheets. They are even free of cadmium and lead. Our material is produced without resorting to momomeres, biozides and softeners.
This is why Komacel, Komatex and Komadur cause no harm to people or the environment, neither during their production, or usage nor during the recycling process.
Returned sheets or fragments of sheets can easily be recycled. Indeed, they are shredded before being reinserted into the production process. A systematic recycling policy allows for economic savings and respect towards the environment.
Kommerling® PVC-U Sheets
Quality Certificate according to DIN ISO 9001
Consequent research and development added to decades of experience account for the high quality of our products.
We carry out tests at all stages of the production process - starting with the delivered raw materials until the final check of the finished products. Regular examinations and test carried out by independent testing institutes confirm the care we take during the production process.
Our quality security system is certified according to the German Standard DIN ISO 9001.
Make your decision now: Think of the environment, buy KoMMERLING PVC-U sheets!
The foregoing information is supplied in good faith and represents values obtained through empirical observation and as indicated by our own experience. The figures contained herein are to be understood as reference figures and may vary according to processing methods and environmental conditions.
This information shall not be construed to be legally binding. In particular, it shall not exempt the purchaser from taking responsibility for testing the product supplied so as to determine its suitability for the intended application.
In the event, however, that liability should be at issue, it shall be precluded insofar as premeditation or gross negligence cannot be substantiated.