Acrylic vs. Polycarbonate Backboards
When shopping for a basketball backboard you will discover many different materials that basketball backboards are made of. When it comes to clear backboards, two types you will commonly see are acrylic and polycarbonate. Most consumers do not understand the difference between these two types. Below we will provide some information to help you make a more informed decision regarding which type of basketball backboard to purchase.
Acrylic and Polycarbonate are essentially very similar materials. They are basically both clear plastic materials. However, polycarbonate is marketed as being bullet proof whereas acrylic is not. Unfortunately, polycarbonate has one major drawback. When polycarbonate is exposed to UV light it becomes yellow, cloudy and brittle. When basketball backboards made from polycarbonate are used outdoors, they become very ugly due to yellowing, cloudiness and brittle in a matter of 3-5 years. This actual means a polycarbonate backboard, though marketed as a “bulletproof” backboard, will actually become brittle and very easy to break when used outdoors. This is why First Team does not offer any backboards made from polycarbonate, due to its imminent failure long term. Below you will see some examples of polycarbonate backboards used outdoors.
Acrylic on the other hand, is unaffected by UV light. An acrylic backboard will remain clear and will retain its vandal resistant properties even when exposed to UV light outdoors. If someone throws a rock at an acrylic backboard, it will likely just bounce off with little or no damage and will remain mostly clear for 15-20 years when used outdoors. When choosing between Acrylic vs Polycarbonate for an outdoor basketball backboard, acrylic is clearly the best choice.
Shown Below: Polycarbonate Backboards become Yellow and Brittle when Exposed to UV