Safety, durability and clarity of vision are the most important considerations when it comes to a RIB windscreen. The industry standard material used for windscreen manufacture is Acrylic. Acrylic is cheap and easy to shape, but although strong it cracks easily and will shatter explosively under sufficient impact.
The alternative is polycarbonate: vastly stronger than acrylic and completely shatterproof. Racing car windscreens and bullet proof glass are manufactured from polycarbonate. In the 6mm thickness required for a RIB windscreen it becomes very difficult to heat shape into a compound curve which is needed to shed water properly from the screen. Polycarbonate windscreens are expensive largely due to the difficulties associated with shaping the material.
At Island RIBs, we are constantly striving to improve upon every aspect of the design and manufacture of our RIBs. We keep as much of our manufacturing process in house as possible in order to control the quality of our product. We were determined to use the superior polycarbonate but unable to find cost-effective means of purchasing high-quality ready-made polycarbonate windscreens. Rather than settle for acrylic we developed the tooling, built the oven and devised the process required to heat form flat sheets of 6mm polycarbonate in our workshops. Manufacturing our windscreens in house keeps costs to a minimum, meaning that our customers benefit from a superior polycarbonate windscreen without paying a premium for it.
Polycarbonate windscreens are now fitted as standard to all RIBs in our range.