Clear “Armor” Assures Form and Function in Digital Displays

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Clear display panels for outdoor installations in particular must withstand the rigors of rain, high wind, hail, extreme temperature and sun exposure, and are subject to damage from vandalism. The designer for Display Devices Inc, Arvaca , Colorado, opted for a grade of Makrolon polycarbonate sheet that offers exceptional abrasion resistance, optical clarity and a warranty against breakage.

Mall map with withstand vandalism, regularl cleaning

Basically, we were looking for clear ‘armor.’ We wanted a display screen that wouldn’t break under severe conditions, and that would maintain the graphic functionality and appearance of our units long term. Fortunately we achieved that with Sheffield’s help, and are confident in our products’ performance regardless of the environment.

While digital technology expands design possibilities for indoor and outdoor signage and visual displays, it also creates a critical need to protect electronics from severe weather and vandalism.

Display Devices, Inc. of Arvada, Colorado, recently brought this design challenge to Sheffield Plastics, a Bayer MaterialScience LLC Business and leading producer of Makrolon® polycarbonate sheet products.

The digital display manufacturer designs and builds standard and custom display products for a customer base that includes hotels, airports and corporate facilities around the world. Units typically must reflect a client company’s image and complement its facilities’ architecture. The clear display panels for outdoor installations in particular must withstand the rigors of rain, high wind, hail, extreme temperature and sun exposure, and are subject to damage from vandalism.

According to Jeremiah Hueske, Industrial Designer for Display Devices, performance and integrity of the display screen was also a key factor in their ability to promote their product reliability and its warranty.

“We evaluated several traditional clear materials for break-resistance and the ability to maintain clarity long term. We also wanted to comply with UL flammability ratings. Glass, acrylic and standard polycarbonate all fell short on one or more of the key performance criteria.”

After consulting with Sheffield Plastics, the designer opted for a grade of Makrolon polycarbonate sheet that offers exceptional abrasion resistance, optical clarity and a warranty against breakage.

“Basically, we were looking for clear ‘armor.’ We wanted a display screen that wouldn’t break under severe conditions, and that would maintain the graphic functionality and appearance of our units long term. Fortunately we achieved that with Sheffield’s help, and are confident in our products’ performance regardless of the environment.”

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