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In making windows in enclosures and dodgers and the like thin plastic sheets like acrylic/polycarbonate seem to offer superior viability over things like stratoglass (with the only negative that they can't be rolled). Based on my research acrylic is also inherently UV resistant, while polycarbonate (such as makrolon, which can be sewn in) will yellow especially in high UV areas. EZ2CY, on the other hand, does not seem to degrade like polycarbonate. EZ2CY seems to just be acrylic plexiglass, but I could not find much information on how one could install this themselves, as it is bonded instead of sewn in. So I read through this very lengthy and wordy patent and condensed it down to some simple steps. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone as I could not find this information anywhere else.
This will supposedly work for bonding sunbrella and various other fabrics 5-15oz in weight or vinyl like stamoid to ABS, acrylic, polycarbonate, nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and vinyl based sheets. For more information here is the patent in question:
https://patents.google.com/patent/WO1995018189A1/en


1.) plastic sheet (at least 1/16" thick)
-cut to size with 1 inch extra on all edges
-edges are sanded down on both sides, removing 1/32" total thickness from the edge to 1 inch inwards
-smooth edge (patent mentions using bullnose router bit)

2.) 2 layers of sunbrella with acrylic in between
-coat sunbrella edges that will be bonded to plastic 1" wide in epoxy resin (3M dp100) (1/64-1/32" thick)
-let cure (6-8 hr usually)

3.) bond plastic sheet to sunbrella with double sided foam tape 3M VHB 4949 (both sides)
-apply slight pressure (like with a roller)

4.) sew two sunbrella layers together with two seams, one near edge of plastic and one near sunbrella edge

So it seems like you would bond the plastic sheet to the main piece, and make a strip for the other sides to cover the edges also bonded to the plastic sheet. You could also probably sew some vinyl to the sunbrella and attach the plastic sheet to the vinyl instead as follows.

For vinyl like stamoid, no resin is needed
-abraid plastic sheet edges
-wash acrylic edge with acetone
-use tape 3M vhb 4945, ps 4425, ps 4430, or ps 4445 to bond

Hopefully this made sense, but you can also read page 16 of the patent (pdf version) titled "Examples" which might make it more clear.
 

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A number of years ago I looked to replace the EZ2CY panels on my dodger as one had cracked. They become brittle and a sheet slapping can actually break them. I sought to do what you did but couldn’t find the process. It frustrates me paying the steep price of a professional installing it. So we ended up replacing all of the glass with extra thick strataglass. The Strataglass is good but not quite as clear as the EZ2CY.

Wish I had these directions back then!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A number of years ago I looked to replace the EZ2CY panels on my dodger as one had cracked. They become brittle and a sheet slapping can actually break them. I sought to do what you did but couldn’t find the process. It frustrates me paying the steep price of a professional installing it. So we ended up replacing all of the glass with extra thick strataglass. The Strataglass is good but not quite as clear as the EZ2CY.

Wish I had these directions back then!
And the worst part is EZ2CY is just plexiglass, and is very cheap compared to strataglass or makrolon or whatever. The most expensive thing here will be the tape, but still very cheap considering how much professionals will charge.
 

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Thanks for the information - using VHB tape is a good tip. I looked into how to bond plexiglass to Sunbrella in the past. There is a glue (I forget the exact name) that will do it, but it is for industrial use only and is not sold to individuals. I wouldn't have thought of using VHB.
 

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Thanks for the information - using VHB tape is a good tip. I looked into how to bond plexiglass to Sunbrella in the past. There is a glue (I forget the exact name) that will do it, but it is for industrial use only and is not sold to individuals. I wouldn't have thought of using VHB.
The only glue option I was able to find is called Weld on 3. I wonder how well that would work well?
 

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The only glue option I was able to find is called Weld on 3. I wonder how well that would work well?
It would be interesting to try it out. My guess is that the solvent would damage the Sunbrella. Now that I come to think of it, I believe the glue I found earlier is designed to glue acrylic to soft vinyl, not Sunbrella. I was trying to find the relevant website just now, but couldn't. I like the idea of using VHB, though, that would be so much easier. Something to think about when I design my next dodger.
 

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It would be interesting to try it out. My guess is that the solvent would damage the Sunbrella. Now that I come to think of it, I believe the glue I found earlier is designed to glue acrylic to soft vinyl, not Sunbrella. I was trying to find the relevant website just now, but couldn't. I like the idea of using VHB, though, that would be so much easier. Something to think about when I design my next dodger.
It would certainly be a good experiment. Weld on 3 is supposed to bond acrylic to acrylic but who knows how that would hold up in the elements. I would imagine that gluing to vinyl would be easier though. I am currently making a bimini and will add a little window in the top using the VHB. And then if it works well I will do it when I get to making the dodger.
 

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You might consider sewing vinyl to the sunbrella....tape/glue acrylic sheet to the vinyl.
I dont know the weight of the sheet windows. Polyester would be stronger and more stable than sunbrella
 

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My wife makes Pockets with 1 “ basting tape on the four sides of the strata glass for all windows. She can sew them on and uses a gluE like tape too. It’s a nice finished look with 1/2 in of basting tape on each side , no sharp edges.

She the sews the basting tape to the Zippers and then the zippers to dodger or Bimini which has . That way should the glass ever need work , she’s only working on the square / rectangle and it’s zipped out. In the winter we take the glass home ( the canvas is under a protected canvas) , that way the glass isn’t exposed to the bitter cold which can make it brittle.
 

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It would certainly be a good experiment. Weld on 3 is supposed to bond acrylic to acrylic but who knows how that would hold up in the elements. I would imagine that gluing to vinyl would be easier though. I am currently making a bimini and will add a little window in the top using the VHB. And then if it works well I will do it when I get to making the dodger.
Let me know how the VHB works out - I'll consider it for my next canvas job. My current dodger has seen better times.

The way a glue like Weld on 3 works is that the solvent penetrates the acrylic, it locally swells the acrylic so that polymer chains can make a bond. That works really well for monolithic plexiglass, but not so much for fibers I would imagine.
 

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You might consider sewing vinyl to the sunbrella....tape/glue acrylic sheet to the vinyl.
I dont know the weight of the sheet windows. Polyester would be stronger and more stable than sunbrella
That's exactly what I was planning to do. I don't use Sunbrella much, I use Top Notch instead for most of my projects - that's a polyester fabric.
 

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That's exactly what I was planning to do. I don't use Sunbrella much, I use Top Notch instead for most of my projects - that's a polyester fabric.
I worked for a ez2cy franchise for several years. I have a canvas bussiness. Do not use vhb it will lose adhesion in the heat. One would use different adhesives for stamoid and sunbrella. The acrylic is very expensive, you have to buy 3k at a time. Goto Cavco canvas university in maryland for basic n rigid . 3,600 $ . Not including air,hotel,n rental car . Worth twice as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I worked for a ez2cy franchise for several years. I have a canvas bussiness. Do not use vhb it will lose adhesion in the heat. One would use different adhesives for stamoid and sunbrella. The acrylic is very expensive, you have to buy 3k at a time. Goto Cavco canvas university in maryland for basic n rigid . 3,600 $ . Not including air,hotel,n rental car . Worth twice as much.
Thanks for that insight, I was just going based off a patent I found. Is the acrylic special stuff for being bonded in this way then? I also had no idea there was a canvas school, that's pretty cool to know.

But anyways I used the vhb for a window in my bimini and so far it's holding up pretty good.. although I'm in the great lakes so it might be better here. But I guess I will plan for it falling off at some point.
 
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