What is the best UV transmission for your crops? When growing plants in a greenhouse, it may seem as simple as just throwing a piece of plastic sheeting over a frame, but greenhouse plastic sheeting is just as complex as the plants you choose to grow. Terms like UV block, UV resistance, and UV transmission are used to describe and measure how the sun will affect the plastic and how that light is transmitted to your plants.
The team at Americover has partnered with professionals in greenhouse growing, and plastic sheeting manufacturing to provide products that meet your technical standards, whatever your needs may be. “In just the last decade I have witnessed, first hand and in real time, how UV related formulations have evolved in the plastic sheeting space.” says Daniel Mergens, Americover Account Manager.
What is UV Resistant Greenhouse Plastic Sheeting?
UV light, or ultraviolet light, is an invisible light which makes up at least 10% of the total electromagnetic radiation output from the sun.
UV radiation can be classified into three different types of light, based on their wavelengths.
- Ultraviolet B and Ultraviolet C light, or UVB and UVC, almost never reach earth.
- Ultraviolet A, or UVA light, makes up the vast majority of UV radiation which reaches earth.
Greenhouse plastic sheeting, with its wide surface area, is particularly prone to deterioration underneath continuous exposure to the sun. UV radiation is most commonly known for its ionization, that is, its ability to deteriorate chemical bonds.
Related Article: How Long Does Greenhouse Plastic Sheeting Last?
The rate of deterioration depends on the region in which your greenhouse is located. UV degradation breaks down polymers in plastic sheeting, causing the sheeting to become brittle, discolored, and weak. Without the protection from UV resistant greenhouse plastic sheeting, UV light can damage crops.
UV resistant plastic sheeting is also known as UV blocking. Both terms refer to the ability to last outdoors for a specified timeframe. UV stabilizers added to the resin during the manufacturing process extend the lifespan of the film anywhere from one year up to 4 years, without this additive the plastic sheeting breaks down within months.
What is Greenhouse Plastic Sheeting Light Transmission?
Light transmission refers to how much light reaches the plant. A good light transmission rate for greenhouse plastic sheeting starts at 83% up to 99%. As the greenhouse cover ages in the sun and the surface becomes cloudy with dust and smog, the light transmission is reduced. Greenhouse plastic sheeting can also diffuse light, which spreads it more evenly to the lower parts of the plant and prevents hot spots.
Light Deprivation blacks out the greenhouse so it doesn’t receive any light transmission. This type of sheeting is ideal to cover greenhouses which must adhere to a certain light cycle, or this sheeting is ideal for dry rooms. Some may associate the term UV block with light deprivation, but UV block does not block light, it blocks UV spectrum which prevents plastic sheeting degradation.
Greenhouse plastic sheeting typically has multiple features to consider aside from light transmission. A plastic sheeting expert can help you determine the best fit for your needs:
What is Open UV Greenhouse Plastic Sheeting?
UV resistant plastic sheeting blocks part of the infrared spectrum and in most cases this is a good thing. Studies have shown that it can reduce common greenhouse pests like whiteflies, aphids, and gnats. However, if you rely on bees to polinate your plants you’ll need plastic sheeting that has Open UV, also known as UV Transmitting which allows the UV spectrum to shine through so bees can find the nectar sources. Many plants including roses and other aromatic flowers need open UV to enhance fragrance and color.
Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by growers, agriculture industries, contractors and distributors across the construction industry, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.