Globe Material Types

This is designed to lend a better understanding on how plastics are made, the different types of plastic and their numerous properties.

Globe Material Types 101



  • Polycarbonate is a superior engineering plastic material for extreme requirements.
  • UV Stabilized to ensure a long life.
  • A high continuous working temperature up to 257 degrees Fahrenheit (125 degrees Celsius) even under extreme environmental conditions and allows the installation of lamps high wattages.
  • High impact resistance and durability remain even at subzero temperatures (-40 degrees Celsius)

The key physical property of polycarbonate is resistance to impact. It is virtually unbreakable. Decralite recommends a maximum operational temperature up to 90° Celsius to achieve optimum life. Polycarbonate should be used in areas where vandal resistance is a concern. The optical clarity of polycarbonate is degraded by ultraviolet radiation. UvaLex® coating and/or UV guarded lamps are recommended. Polycarbonate globes are available in either clear or white.

ACRYLIC - Absolutely UV Resistant


  • Acrylic is a material with unsurpassed resistance to weathering and aging.
  • Acrylic has an exceptional brilliance, which does not diminish even after prolonged use – thanks to an optimum surface hardness.
  • These materials have excellent long-term resistance to yellowing.
  • Suitable for modern light sources where the maximum working temperature does not exceed 194 degrees Fahrenheit.

Decralite recommends a maximum operational temperature up to 80° Celsius to achieve optimum life.


The Moon Glow designation indicates a customized pigment has been added to the PMMA resin. The appearance of Moon Glow products will be slightly translucent. Using products with a Moon Glow pigment can help to minimize glare and produce a desirable cosmetic effect. Decralite recommends a maximum operational temperature up to 80° Celsius to achieve optimum life.

All materials are subject to accelerated degradation when improperly applied. Exceeding recommended temperature limits, exposing to concentrated UV, chemicals or physical damage will result in decreased life and performance.


Acrylic resins have good resistance to a variety of common cleaners and application environments. The testing to date indicates that acrylic reflectors and refractors should not be exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, ethers and esters. Additional chemicals that have been tested and found to degrade acrylic are synthetic cutting oils and fluids that may contain either potassium hydroxide or triethanolamine. Also the following chemicals were tested and found to chemically attack acrylic. DOP (dioctyphthalate) – a plasticizer which is sometimes used in the manufacture of PVC and vinyl wire jackets. 2-butoxyethanol (ether derivative) – a chemical that is found in some household spray cleaners. Ethoxylated surfactants a fluid which is sometimes used in capacitors for cooling.

Ethoxylated-nonyl-phenols a chemical found in some machining coolant fluids. These chemicals are often used in industrial machining operations and will degrade acrylic over time and cause cracking and premature failure. Acrylic refractors and reflectors should not be used in areas where these fluids are used and where these fluids become mists or airborne vapors.

[Exposure of acrylic reflectors to any of the foregoing chemicals voids all warranties.]


Polyethylene Globes are generally the least expensive of all the material types. Available only in white. Suitable for incandescent light sources due primarily to a lower maximum operating temperature.

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