Many people would agree that the COVID-19 virus is far from being eliminated. Although businesses around the world quickly enabled the ability to work remotely, it has become increasing difficult for some industries to remain out of the office. As we learn more about how the virus spreads and how we can reduce the chances of contamination, many employers have encouraged their workers to return to offices in order to help continue business as usual. There are numerous products and solutions that have helped businesses make this transition; but some of the greatest assets to reducing the spread of disease have been barriers and adhesive graphics that reinforce the importance of social distancing.
It’s no secret that the traditional office designs were put in place to maximize the number of workstations in a limited area. After all, many businesses have found it beneficial to keep employees together to save money, and in some cases, to improve collaboration. Unfortunately, this bodes terribly for working through the current worldwide pandemic, especially since the COVID-19 virus spreads through airborne respiratory droplets. One way to help alleviate this problem is to install safety partitions between cubicles and other exposed work areas.
Most safety partitions are made from a few specific plastic materials, and while they all serve the same purpose, they certainly possess unique individual characteristics. Some of these materials include polycarbonate, cast acrylic, extruded acrylic, PETG, and clear PVC. These products are well known for their durability, superior impact resistance, optical clarity, and lightweight designs. When compared to traditional glass applications, these performance plastics are far superior. For example, acrylic typically weighs 50 percent less than glass, and depending on the thickness of the material, it can weigh between .038 and 6 pounds per square foot. In addition, the tensile strength of acrylic is calculated at 10,000 psi, with approximately 17 times the impact resistance of glass. Lastly, polycarbonate meets the UL94 Class A fire rating when used for stationary barriers. This is vital for any facility looking to keep people safe while also meeting various building code regulations.
Even though safety partitions can help significantly reduce the spread of disease, they must still be properly cleaned and sanitized to avoid unnecessary contamination. However, the integrity of each plastic material is different, so it’s important to use the proper cleaning solutions when wiping down your barrier applications. If a product is not cleaned in accordance to their cleaning guidelines, it can often lead to damage on the surface of the material. Piedmont Plastics offers a variety of cleaners for almost any application, including the Brillianize cleaner product line. For a more in-depth description on how to care for your plastic applications, click here to read our article.
Even though safety partitions provide an additional layer of protection against the spread of disease, it’s important to remind employees about new office guidelines. This can be achieved by placing floor films, window graphics, and wall graphics around the office so that employees can be educated about how to keep themselves and others safe. Film and graphic applications have helped tremendously during the pandemic, partly due to their excellent versatility and performance. These products are typically made from vinyl materials, which are known for their strong, durable, water-resistant and low-cost benefits.
Adhesive backed vinyl options feature a pressure sensitive adhesive backing for easy application. Some adhesive backed vinyl can even be coated with removable adhesives for reapplication or short-term use. For example, floor graphics can be adhered to numerous indoor and outdoor surfaces, including carpet, wood, tile, laminate, and sidewalks. Window graphics can be installed with adhesives or static cling, depending on their intended surface. In addition, these same graphics can be removed and repositioned without leaving the stubborn sticky residue that is often left behind by tape. Vinyl materials can also be printed using a variety of technologies, including bold colors, embossed textures, and distinctive finishes.
Lastly, another reason why these graphics have seen success is because they can be designed to be eye-catching and highly visible. These films can be used to create custom graphics that are designed with company brand standards in mind, thus leading to a more professional look. Rather than using tape or printed paper messages, offices should seriously consider using graphics to keep their spaces looking clean and reputable.
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At Piedmont Plastics, we offer a wide variety of performance plastic materials for your public office and workspace applications. Contact us to inquire about our various solutions or call us today to speak with a plastics expert! You can also read our social distancing solutions brochure for more information about our social distancing products!