Why you should never underestimate the power of polycarbonate 

Clear polycarbonate burglar bars are popular in South Africa. It is easy to see why. In a country where burglar proofing on doors and windows is necessary for safety reasons, see-through bars are a welcome change from metal ones. However, there are some myths around the strength of polycarbonate bars that may put people off. We explore why you should never underestimate the power of polycarbonate.

What is polycarbonate? 

Polycarbonates are thermoplastic polymers. They are a type of plastic that softens when heated. This allows it to be moulded into the required shape, like bars. When the polycarbonate cools, it hardens. 

This process is used to create an incredible variety of products. These range from baby feeding bottles to police riot shields and vandal-proof glazing. And, of course, polycarbonate burglar bars.

Don’t underestimate the power of polycarbonate because:

It is stable under intense heat

Polycarbonate is strong enough for car head lights and airplane windshields. So why are people nervous to use it as burglar proofing? Well, the fact that polycarbonate is heated to shape may be the worry. One urban legend is that heating the bars is the way criminals break through them. 

But what the rumour fails to reveal is that polycarbonate thermoplastic needs extreme, sustained temperatures to soften. It is stable under intense temperatures and does not burn or break. It just softens and remoulds itself.

This feature makes it highly unlikely that burglars can burn polycarbonate bars to break into a home. It would take special equipment to get to the correct melting point. And it would also take far too long. Criminals seldom have enough time to even attempt this. They do not want to be caught in the act.

It is tough and impact resistant 

Polycarbonate bars are robust security barriers. If you try to bend them out of shape, they flex and return to the original shape. Polycarbonate does not shatter like glass or dent like metal. It absorbs impact. This is why it is used for bullet resistant windows, safety helmets and roofing.

Security bars made from polycarbonate are lightweight. But they are not weak. Any weak points will be due to the way these burglar bars are installed. Trellidor polycarbonate bar installations have several features that set them apart and make them stronger than most. 

These strengthening features are:

  • An extruded aluminium frame. This gives the burglar bar installation strength and stability.
  • The polycarbonate bars are inserted into the frame. Criminals can’t access the fixings. This is different to most polycarbonate bar installations, where each bar is fixed to the window itself, and the fixings are easily accessible.
  • The Trellidor polycarbonate bar frame is attached to the wall around the window with tamper-proof fixings. This creates a burglar bar unit that is strong under attack. 
  • The frame has corner cleats. These cleats join the edges of the frame together so that there are no gaps for burglars to use to break through the burglar bar.

It is transparent burglar proofing

One of the major attractions of polycarbonate bars is that they are see-through. They are barely noticeable when fitted next to a window. The bars have the power to protect without making a home look like a jail.

However, the South African crime scene is extreme in many places. Homes in high crime areas need much stronger types of security than polycarbonate bars. These include products certified internationally for strength under attack, like those manufactured by Trellidor. 

Polycarbonate bars are suitable for:

  • Homes in complexes and estates 
  • Gated communities 
  • High rise apartment blocks 
  • Secure office parks

The most popular use for polycarbonate bars is to stop monkeys and baboons invading homes and creating mess. There are suburbs and coastal towns all over South Africa that struggle with this problem. Polycarbonate bars are a kind, easy, and effective way of keeping these animals out.

It is long-lasting and excellent value for money 

The price of high-quality home and business security is sometimes beyond the budget. Polycarbonate burglar bars prices, though, are very attractive. They are an affordable option for many people.

Trellidor polycarbonate bar units have the added attraction of being UV resistant and non-yellowing. This makes them long-lasting and worth the cost of having them installed. 

Like any other fixture in a home or office, polycarbonate bars need regular cleaning to keep them in top condition. If the cleaning cycle is kept up, these security barriers will provide many years of reliable protection. 

To clean polycarbonate bars, never use abrasive detergents or soapy water. Detergent or solvent based cleaners such as scouring agents, dishwashing liquids, washing powders and thinners could reduce the expected life of the product.

Never use abrasive materials or a dry cloth to wipe down or clean the polycarbonate slats. 

Use a soft cotton cloth and a premium quality (salt free) car wash liquid. Mix with water as per the manufacturer’s directions. Clean hard to reach areas with a soft nylon bristle brush such as a dishwashing brush. Then dry the unit with a soft cotton cloth or chamois.

It is custom-made to fit

Customised burglar bars have more power to protect than off-the-shelf versions. Retail store bought polycarbonate bars are one-size-fits-all. They may not fit the windows properly. Do-it-yourself fittings can damage window frames when attaching the polycarbonate panels to the frame. This weakens the installation and reduces protection.

Trellidor polycarbonate bars are made-to-measure by experts. Each window is fitted with a framed polycarbonate bar unit made specially for it. Trained technicians carry out the installation. A customised fitting like this leaves little room for a criminal to break through. It also holds firm if baboons or monkeys try to shake the burglar bars loose. 


In conclusion, good quality polycarbonate bars are an affordable alternative to traditional metal burglar proofing. They are ideal for secure estate homes or office parks. They are long-lasting and cost effective, providing protection from monkeys and baboons or as a deterrent to criminals.

To find out more contact your nearest Trellidor outlet

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