Ampelite introduced Wonderglas GC gel-coated sheeting to New Zealand in 1995 expressly to combat our very harsh environment. Its highly UV-resistant gel coat provides Wonderglas GC with the ultimate impenetrable barrier, reducing surface erosion and loss of light transmission to negligible proportions. In September 2014, Ampelite changed the name of its Wonderglas GC product to ‘Wonderglas S-996’. Silmar S-996 was specifically designed as a clear gel coat for roofing. Because the Silmar S-996 gel coat had become synonymous with the Wonderglas brand, it was only natural that both brands should be locked together so that our customers could be guaranteed quality; however, the composition of our Wonderglas gel coat has not changed since we started supplying it in 1995, and Wonderglas S-996 continues to be a preferred solution for commercial buildings throughout the country. It is recommended for commercial and retail applications where excellent long-term light transmission is required.
History of Fibreglass in New Zealand
Fiberglass has been used in New Zealand for over 50 years as a cost-effective sky-lighting material. Unfortunately, fiberglass has often been overlooked in many applications due to perceptions of poor translucency, high levels of yellowing, and poor aesthetics associated with surface erosion (known as “fiber show”). In New Zealand, fiberglass sheeting has traditionally been protected by surface films. These films are layered on to the sheet during manufacture, and are designed to be “self sacrificial”. Unfortunately, most surface films have poor weather ability, and have been known to delaminate in as little as 3 years! More recent surface films containing high-level UV stabilizers have improved performance and weather ability; however testing has shown their life-span to be limited.
What is a Gel Coat?
Gel coats have been used in many applications ranging from truck bodies, to swimming pools, to yachts. Ampelite is now able to apply this superior method of fibreglass protection to a range of fibreglass roofing and cladding materials.
Because the composition of our gel coat and its basic manufacturing process have not changed since Wonderglas S-996’s introduction into New Zealand in 1995 (as Wonderglas GC), it is the oldest - and most dependable - gel-coated roofing sheet on the market.
The proven performance of Wonderglas S-996 includes:
Wonderglas S996 now uses Ampelite’s Proprietary SL Group 3 “Bromine Free” Fire Retardant Resin System
Wonderglas S996 manufactured in New Zealand after the 15 October 2020 will now use Ampelite’s proprietary Group 3 Bromine Free’ fire retardant resin system that is currently used to manufacture our SL sheeting products.
Surface Finish Properties have been tested to ISO 5660 and achieved a group number 3 performance in accordance with NZBC Verification Method C/VM2 Appendix
Testing and Evaluation
Wonderglas GC (now Wonderglas S-996) has been tested at the Allunga Exposure Laboratory in Allunga QLD, a world-renowned testing facility. All methods of testing are performed to strict standards. The Altrac system (in which the sample tracks the sun) is generally accepted to have a 5 to 1 weathering value. The Wonderglas GC (now Wonderglas S-996) result was a light loss of 22% over a period equivalent to 20 years of exposure. The test samples still displayed a very smooth, glossy surface with no fibre showing at all.
The CRC (Cooperative Research Centres Program) of Australia is a Government Program whose participants include:
The CRC study “Weathering of Glass-Reinforced Roof Sheeting Materials” examined resin types, glass size and content, and coatings of fibreglass sheeting commercially available in Australia. The results, published in August 2000, found the following: “The standard orthophthalic resin with the BP gel coat was the most weather-resistant system to use. The BP gel coat was the most durable of all the coatings trialled and showed superior weather ability compared to those coatings currently being used in industry”.
Available Colours; Light and Heat Transmission
Wonderglas S-996 is available in Clear, Opal and Grey. For information on other colours, please contact your local Ampelite office.
For light and heat transmission of Series 2400, 3050, 3660, 4270, 4880, please contact your local Ampelite office.
Available Profiles & Spanning Capacity
All current profiles such as Corrugated, 5 rib, LT7, BB900, etc. plus most superseded profiles are available.
For information regarding recommended spans in high wind and cyclonic regions please contact your local Ampelite office.
Ampelite has a large range of accessories available to help make the installation of Wonderglas S-996 fast and professional. These accessories include a range of self-drilling screws which oversize the fastener holes as they pass through the sheet, and self-adhesive tapes and profiled form filler strips for vermin protection.
Correct Installation is Important
Ampelite sheeting shall be installed in accordance with Ampelite fixing instructions and with AS/NZS 1562.3:1996, Design and installation of sheet roof and wall cladding, Part 3: Plastic, the requirements of the NZ Building Code and the NZ Metal Roofing Manufacturers’ Association Code of Practice. For full installation details, please download a copy of our installation guide.
Please note these additional important requirements:
Handling, Storage, and Disposal
Wonderglas S-996 Industrial Fibreglass Sheeting is a non-trafficable roofing material. The sheeting should always be stored in a dry and fire-safe area and handled with care to avoid damage to the surface coating as warranties will not apply to sheeting that has been damaged in handling or to mechanical damage as a result of foot traffic.
There are no ill effects from handling Ampelite fibreglass sheets as a finished product. Some exposure to airborne particles occurs on drilling, cutting, and trimming of the material. Although there are no known cases of harmful effects, even after long-term exposure, it is recommended to take certain precautionary steps.