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post #11 of 24 Old 03-05-2010
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Its the UV radiation breaking down the plastic. No matter what you do to resurface them, the haze will continue to come back.

I think there are spray on products that promise to block UV on clear plastic, but its not going to be permanant. There are UV blocking films, but again its not going to be a perfect (it will peel eventually). Acrylic just can't resist sunlight very well. Polycarbonate and glass is a much better material for long term exposure.
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post #12 of 24 Old 03-05-2010
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Question

Do these polishing products work on polycarbonate (Lexan) as well as acrylic? If so, how long does it last on Lexan?
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post #13 of 24 Old 03-05-2010
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They work on pretty much all plastics. I would not expect there to be much difference between the perfomance of Lexan or Acrylic after polishing.
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post #14 of 24 Old 03-05-2010
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One thing, some Lexan or Polycarbonate is sold with a UV-resisting coating. If you polish it, the Lexan will deteriorate more quickly, since you'll effectively be removing the coating.

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post #15 of 24 Old 03-05-2010
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Another Question

Wouldn't you think that if Lexan needed polishing that it probably does not have a UV light protection film on it? Or is there another reason why Lexan might need polishing? I guess it could be physical scratches. How do you know the difference between UV light deterioration and physical scratches?
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post #16 of 24 Old 03-05-2010
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Clouding, and yellow hazing esp. around the edges, is UV damage. Scratches and 'crazing' are physical scratches like from salt. Scratches accelerate the UV degradation because they open up more surface area in the plastic to be attacked.
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post #17 of 24 Old 03-06-2010
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What are your choices?

So no matter what the cause, once you have hazing, crazying, scratches etc., you have no choice but to polish or change out the plastic. Is that the correct conclusion?
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post #18 of 24 Old 03-06-2010
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Yeah, pretty much. Acrylic left exposed to sunlight should be considered a consumable item that will need periodic replacement.
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post #19 of 24 Old 03-06-2010
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I usually polish our Lexan side windows and the hatches once per year. Unless there are deep scratches I just use the Novus #1 and #2, deep scratches need #3. Our hatches were really bad when we bought the boat. Now they look OK and you can see through them but they don't look shiny new. Novus is good stuff.

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post #20 of 24 Old 03-06-2010
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My lady has used insulator wax as preventive maintenance for decades. It works well to help fend off UV damage, scratches, etc., before they happen. Don't know how well it would work to bring back stuff that's already damaged.
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