With the summer season in full swing, many administrators, educators, and parents are actively searching for solutions to keep students safe from COVID-19 when in-person learning returns. While some schools have already determined they will continue to teach virtually, not everyone agrees with this online method. Unfortunately, not every classroom is suited for in-person learning at this time due to the difficulties in complying with social distancing guidelines and providing adequate protection against infectious disease. Thankfully, new protective plastic barriers have been developed to create a safer learning environment. Piedmont Plastics is proud to offer school and university barrier solutions, as well as other safety partitions, that are designed to withstand daily use and provide students, faculty, and staff with the critical protective solutions they need.
Why Schools Need Protective Barriers
As schools and universities begin inviting their students back into the classroom as early as this fall, it’s important for these institutions to have protective solutions already in place before school resumes. Preventing the spread of disease in common areas may prove to be difficult, but implementing these transparent barriers in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, and labs will help tremendously. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, installing physical barriers in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart is one strategy schools can use to maintain a healthy environment. Thankfully, many schools have already taken the proactive step towards installing these barriers, and the demand is certainly record breaking. According to an article published by Yahoo Finance, Plaskolite (one of the country’s largest manufactures of acrylic) has produced a record amount of acrylic over the past several months. Ryan Schroeder, CEO of Plaskolite, said “Orders have been substantially higher [than normal]. So we are really, at this point, running all our sheet machines at full capacity… around the clock.”
Even though these transparent materials are currently in high demand, Piedmont Plastics’ supply chain has invested in and planned for consistent availability of materials across our branch network, significantly reducing published manufacturer lead times. This planned inventory will provide our customers with the clear materials they need for a wide array of barrier applications. With over 48 locations across North America, Piedmont Plastics is built to easily transfer inventory among our branch network to meet the needs of our customers.
Barrier Materials and Benefits
Plastic barriers can be made from a variety of materials, but most transparent barrier applications are made from extruded acrylic, cast acrylic, polycarbonate or PETG. Each of these materials have their own unique benefits, but they have similar characteristics to meet the requirements for a typical classroom environment. Some of these characteristics include:
- Lightweight design
- Excellent optical clarity
- Superior impact resistance
- Easily cleaned
- Easy to install
- Anti-scratch and other coatings available
How to Clean Transparent Plastic Barriers
Although transparent plastic barriers will provide extra protection from the spread of disease, they need to be fully cleaned and sanitized regularly to be effective. Not every material can withstand the harsh chemicals used in some cleaning solutions, so it’s important to use the proper cleaners and sanitizers when sanitizing the surface of the barriers. If the proper cleaning products are not used, the quality of the material can be reduced drastically. At Piedmont Plastics, we offer a variety of cleaners for almost any application. However, the Brillianize product line is certainly one of the more popular options, and it is specifically formulated to clean, preserve, and protect plastic surfaces such as acrylic and polycarbonate.
At Piedmont Plastics, we offer a wide variety of performance plastic materials for your protective applications. Contact us today to inquire about our various solutions or call us today to speak with an expert! You can also read our classroom barrier solutions brochure or social distancing solutions brochure for more information about our social distancing products and solutions!