The Benefits of Translucent Panel Daylighting Systems

Major has been manufacturing translucent panel skylights, canopies and wall systems since 1980. Their popularity is driven by the fact that they’re a great way to bring soft, diffuse daylighting into interior spaces. They’re also lightweight, easy to install, don’t require expensive internal or external shading devices, are impact resistant and affordable. Lets take a look at what makes up a translucent panel, and how they can benefit your next project.

Hover over one of the buttons below for a pop-up on the features of translucent panel systems, and scroll down to read more:

Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Face Sheets

Fiberglass reinforced face sheets diffuse light and provide great weathering and impact resistance. Major's Guardian 275® and Clima-Tite™ systems feature Ultimate Series™ fiberglass, developed in cooperation with Crane Composites®, that offers superior performance and weathering and color change warranties up to 20 years. FRP face sheets come are also available in a high-impact configuration and in a variety of colors. Contact us for more details.
Aluminum Grid Core

An aluminum grid core, which can be thermally broken for improved thermal performance, keeps the fiberglass face sheets in place and creates a strong yet lightweight system.
Grid Lines

The grid lines you see in translucent panels mark the area where the aluminum grid core is adhered to the FRP face sheets. Grid patterns are available in a variety of configurations, including Tuckerman (square), Shoji, Staggered Shoji and Verti-Lite™ (verticals only), as well as custom designs.
Thermal Breaks

Both panels and framing can be configured with thermal breaks, creating a separation between the inside and outside surfaces and improving u-factors and condensation resistance numbers.
High-Performance Gasketing

Our Guardian 275® and Clima-Tite™ systems feature high-performance and long-lasting EPDM gasketing that helps keep moisture out.
Moisture Management

Both framing and panels feature weep holes that help move moisture to the outside of the system. Skylight systems also feature built-in gutters for improved moisture management.
Insulation Options

The air cavity inside of the panel can be infilled with varying densities of translucent fiberglass insulation to enhance thermal performance and help control solar heat gain.

Why Choose a Translucent Panel System?


Translucent panel systems are an energy-saving, dependable and versatile glazing choice. Their unique sandwich panel design provides strength and light weight while also allowing soft, diffuse natural light to illuminate interior spaces.

Translucent panel skylights, wall systems are a great choice wherever occupants would benefit from natural light, but they excel in computer rooms, libraries, classrooms, athletic facilities, manufacturing centers and offices where people spend extended periods of time and/or are working on computer screens of reading books or technical materials. Translucent panel canopies offer benefits to occupants as well, shielding them from the elements while allowing natural light to make the space feel less dreary and closed-in. And they’re also lightweight, allowing for more unique design options than a typical glass system.

How do they Compare to Other Glazing Materials?


Translucent panel systems compare favorably to other glazing materials. They often offer better thermal performance and are lighter and easier to handle than comparable glass systems, and provide enhanced performance and longer warranties than comparable polycarbonate multi-wall systems. See the chart below for some additional performance comparisons.

How is Fiberglass Face Sheet Made?


Fiberglass reinforced polymer face sheet technology has advanced a great deal in the last 25 years. Advancements in resin systems and UV protection have extended lifespans and allowed us to offer up to 20 year color change warranties on our Ultimate Series™ fiberglass sheets. Each sheet is a combination of polyester resin, fiberglass rovings for reinforcement, a glass veil for additional durability, and UV protection that protects the material in any environment.

The sheet is available in a variety of exterior colors, including Crystal, White, Aqua, Ice Blue, Desert Rose and Tan.

What Thermal Performance Options are Available?


One of the benefits of translucent panel systems is that their sandwich panel design allows for insulation to be installed within the panel – with different densities available for enhanced thermal performance and solar heat gain control. By adjusting the density of insulation inside the panel, you can achieve U-factors as low as .06 (center of panel for Guardian 275® 4″).

Thermal breaks are also available for both the outside framing and the panel grid core, providing protection against condensation and improved U-factors.

What Aluminum Finishes are Available?


We work with some of the top finishing companies in the nation to provide both long-lasting anodize finish options as well as Kynar® paint finishes. Anodize finishes are long-lasting and durable, and can be an economical options as well. They come in a variety of colors ranging from clear to varying shades of bronze. Kynar® finishes are available in both 50% and 70% varieties to meet AAMA specifications, and are available in a range of standard colors. We can also custom color match to meet your needs. For an even more adventurous look, finishes that mimic the look of wood and copper are also available.

For additional details on our finish options, click HERE.

Are there Other Design Options?


Major’s translucent panel systems come in a wide variety of configurations, from blast and hurricane protection systems to removable skylights to unitized systems that combine the best of vision glazing, louvers and metal panels with translucent systems. We also offer Spectra-Grid™ systems with colored insulation for a stained-glass type look, and can do custom color matching with finishes if you’re looking to match a logo or school colors.

Because of their light weight, translucent systems are also a great choice for retrofit projects, as they require less structural support than glass systems and are easy to install. We also offer a Translucent Adapter Panel system that fits into existing 1″ curtainwall framing, making it easy for owners to make a thermal performance upgrade without replacing the entire framing system.

For more details on all of our specialty options, click HERE.