Window Film Blog
A photo of a polycarbonate greenhouse

Polycarbonate and Window Film

In our FAQ’s it states that ComforTech™ Window Film should not be used on plastic surfaces. And earlier this month, I had a customer ask me to elaborate on why it shouldn’t be used on polycarbonate. So, I thought I would share with everyone the reasons why.

What is polycarbonate?

Some of you may be wondering what polycarbonate even is – so let’s get that out of the way.

Polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is lightweight, durable and has high impact resistance. It is commonly used as an alternative to glass in various applications, including windows – especially where safety glazing is required (think bullet-resistant surfaces), skylights, and greenhouses.

Why can’t you use ComforTech™ on polycarbonate?

There are three main reasons why ComforTech™ Ceramic Series film is not suitable for application on polycarbonate surfaces:


Polycarbonate tends to off-gas and this can cause problems. Polycarbonate off-gassing refers to the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other gases from the material as it ages or is exposed to heat or UV radiation. This off-gassing can be problematic for window film applied to polycarbonate surfaces for several reasons:

Adhesion issues:

The gases released during off-gassing can interfere with the adhesive used in window films, causing them to separate, peel, or bubble. This results in a poor bond between the window film and the polycarbonate surface, which can lead to reduced performance and an unsightly appearance.

Film degradation:

Some of the gases released during off-gassing can react chemically with the window film, causing it to break down, become discolored, or lose its effectiveness over time. This can negatively impact the film’s performance and longevity.

Optical clarity:

Off-gassing can cause the window film to become cloudy or hazy, reducing its optical clarity and negatively affecting the appearance of the polycarbonate surface.

Trapped gases:

When window film is applied to a polycarbonate surface, it can trap the off-gassing gases between the film and the material. This can cause the film to bubble or lift, leading to distortion and a compromised appearance.

Heat Absorption

Polycarbonate has different thermal properties than glass. Our films always cause some level of heat absorption when applied to glass. When window film is applied to a polycarbonate surface, it can alter the way the material absorbs and dissipates heat. Certain films, especially darker ones, can absorb more heat, causing the polycarbonate to expand unevenly. This uneven expansion can lead to distortion, warping, or even bowing of the material over time.

Film Removal

There is no way to remove the film without scratching the polycarbonate


While ComforTech™ is not made for use on plastic or polycarbonate surfaces, there are some specialty window films out there that are. These are specially made for plastic surfaces and are often applied to the exterior of the polycarbonate. A quick Google search will yield a short list of candidates.

If you are in the market for solar control or privacy window film for glass windows, shop ComforTech™ Ceramic Series.

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