UV-Protected Artificial Plants Last Longer and Protect the Environment
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Updated on 27th Jun 2017 by Planters Artificial
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Replica plants
UV-Protected Artificial Plants

Throughout the UAE and beyond, companies are turning not just to fire-retardant artificial plants, but UV-protected plants. These are artificial plants and green walls that are designed to withstand the heat of the sun and the UV rays that will slowly damage and degrade the plants. With UV-protected plants, companies can enjoy long-lasting artificial potted plants and green walls, without any concern for the environment or be paying for replacements every few years.

What is UV?  

UV stands for “ultraviolet”, which is a kind of radiation that is emitted from the sun. UV is usually discussed in relation to the human body, as it can cause real damage to the skin and eyes, but it can also have a part to play in the degradation of organic and man-made materials. 
UV is a kind of light that has a wavelength longer than that of an X-ray, but shorter than that of visible light. This means that UV rays cannot be seen by the eyes, though on sunny days or in warm climates like in the UAE, it is present almost all the time. 
Given that UV light is almost always present, it’s a known problem for artificial plants. When these plants are left out in the sunshine, or near a window, it can cause a number of issues.

How Does UV Affect Artificial Plant Fibres and Dyes?

When exposed to UV rays, fabrics, polymers, and dyes can all be affected. UV degradation occurs when objects made of polymers, like artificial plants, are exposed to direct sunlight. The problem will initially become evident when colours begin fading or cracking, or the material itself begins to break down. 
The intensity of the sunlight and the amount of time an artificial plant, for instance, spends exposed to the sunlight will greatly increase the speed at which the object degrades. 
Fibres like aramids, along with polymers like thermoplastics, are particularly sensitive to the effects of UV sunlight. Those who use artificial plants that are not protected from this radiation should keep the plants out of direct sunlight. By absorbing UV rays, a chain reaction of degradation begins within the fibres and polymers. This results in strength being lost at the most sensitive points, including the joints and connecting parts of the plant. 
The dyes used on the plastic and fibres will also begin to change as they absorb the UV rays. When these plants sit in the window, the glass will absorb some of the UV rays – but over sufficiently long periods of time, the UV will start a chain reaction that ultimately causes discolouring. It is this same reaction that causes museums to keep old paintings in dark rooms, to avoid the discolouration caused by the sun and other light sources that emit UV rays. 

What are UV-Protected Artificial Plants?

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UV-protected artificial plants are made with materials that have been treated to prevent damage from UV rays. These plants may be made from materials that are naturally resistant to UV, or with regular polymers and fibres that have been treated using man-made chemicals to reduce the effect of the sun’s rays. One such material is known as boxwood. This is a material made from polyethylene plastic, that is designed to withstand high heat and UV rays. This means it is resistant both to flames and UV rays. To make this material, manufacturers add a UV-stabilising chemical to the mixture, before allowing it to set. These chemicals provide extra stability to the plastic, making it less of a fire risk, and a more long-lasting material that makes it ideal for artificial plants. 
To ensure longevity of artificial plants used in green walls or pots, the resistance is tested with UV fluorescent lamps. These sample materials will be exposed to moisture and UV light for many hundreds of hours at a time, resulting in the equivalent of one year of exposure to sunlight. The samples will be compared by the manufacturer to the original material, to note down how much fading, discolouration or physical damage occurs. 
Interior landscaping design companies like Planters will only use artificial plants made with these kinds of materials. Not only do they ensure a longer life for the artificial plants, but they can help protect the environment. 

How Do UV-Protected Artificial Plants Protect the Environment?

Most artificial plants that are not made with UV protection in mind tend to be made from cheaper polymers, fibres, and fabrics. These artificial plants might be made entirely out of polymers for the stems, and polyester for the leaves. This combination of materials is generally not good for the environment, and it’s even worse when the plants have a short life span. 

Artificial Bamboo at Apparel Group Office
With companies all over the UAE relying on artificial plants for easy maintenance, there is a potential for a large amount of plastic waste being thrown away every year. Interior design specialists like Planters use higher quality artificial plants that are designed to withstand the effects of the harsh UAE sun and to last much longer. When artificial  plant walls and potted plants last for many years, companies can avoid generating too much plastic waste, as well as avoid the cost of maintaining real plants throughout their properties. 

Making UV-Protected Plants Last Even Longer

Even UV-protected plants will ultimately succumb to the power of the sun, and the strongest UV-repellant materials will eventually be affected by UV degradation. To ensure that your UV-protected plants last even longer, be sure to arrange a consultation with Planters. Not only will you have access to the most resilient of outdoor and indoor artificial plants, a consultation will ensure that all plants are installed in a way that protects them from UV light most effectively.
Planters ensures that all artificial plants installed are protected from UV light, and guarantees that all artificial plants and plant walls are made of the highest quality materials. This ensures that every UAE business can enjoy artificial plants and plant walls that last for many years. 
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