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Growing Role of Plastic Materials in Building and Construction
20 July 2022
Not all plastics are bad! You may wonder about the use of plastic in the construction industry; however, plastic materials have a significant role in almost all sorts of construction projects. Plastic materials are now essential in all types of projects, including exterior elements like a window, thin covering, doors, and pipe installation to the internal application like cables and floors.
As per a report, the construction sector is the second largest consumer of plastic materials and is increasingly using plastic for its comprehensive functionality and benefits compared to other traditional materials.
Advantages of Using Plastic Construction Materials:
In the building and construction sector, plastic is used for several advantages elaborated below:
- Plastic materials are lightweight and high in strength. Also, lightweight plastics are easy to install.
- Plastics are good and attractive, and various types of plastic models like colored, transparent, etc. available in the market.
- Plastic materials that are used in construction offer great corrosion resistance.
- Some plastics like thermoplastic polycarbonate can be reshaped easily, recycled without losing their chemical properties, and reused multiple times. Dimensional stability is one of the properties that make people use plastic in construction.
- Plastics are used in electronic cables and other tools for their good electric insulation property.
- Plastic materials can be fixed with a bolt, drill, or glue. Easy, right?
- Plastics with different structures have different fire-resistant properties, but most do not catch fire easily or are fireproof.
- Plastics that are made of PVC pipes have great resistance to moisture or humidity. On the other hand, plastics with cellulosic materials get affected by moisture. They are used as required in construction projects.
- Transparent plastics allow light in their direction, while other translucent plastics allow light but changes its direction. Both have a significant role in building construction.
- Cost is an important factor in the construction industry, and plastic materials are very economical in comparing other materials in construction, creating more demand for use.
Other significant properties that make plastic more in use are sound absorbent, thermal conductivity, high weatherable, low maintenance, stability, easy molding, bending, shaping, and resizing.
Popular Plastics used in Construction Projects:
Below are the most popular plastics that are used for building and construction projects.
Acrylic: Acrylic is used in construction for its stability, rigidity, optical clarity, and resistance characteristics. Acrylics are used in a wide range of construction projects, including; paints, furniture, translucent sheeting, Flashing materials, concrete, renders, mortars, asphalt, flooring, Light fixtures, LCD screens, etc.
Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is the high-performing thermoplastic that can be used multiple times and is widely used in construction and building materials from interior windows, skylights, and wall panels to exterior applications LED lighting. Polycarbonate thermoplastic has high impact resistance and transparency compared to other plastic materials like acrylic. SABIC offers high-quality Multiwall polycarbonate sheet and film products in various industries ranging from construction to consumer electronics.
Polyvinyl Chloride (an abbreviation of PVC): PVC is most widely used in building and construction products such as cables, flooring, roofing, windows, PVC sheets, and pipes. PVC material is durable, safe, quality, and economical in construction.
Polypropylene: Also known as polypropene, it is the world’s most widely produced plastic after polyethylene. PP materials are quite durable, weather resistant, and waterproof making them wisely used in green roofing and piping system.
Composites: Composites plastic construction materials are made of two or more different materials that act as one single solid unit from a structural point of view. Composite materials, particularly fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), are used for various beneficial reasons, including corrosion resistance, low thermal conductivity, flexible design, etc. One of the best reasons for using composites is that they are low weight yet contribute high strength to construction materials.
The construction industry is tackling environmental issues with the use of plastics in various building and construction projects offering limitless possibilities in design with a number of plastic structures and models. Construction industry help in reducing wastage and recycling plastic, and reusing more. A few companies, such as SABIC, do a lot of research in developing innovative plastics and other primary materials to provide quality and cheaper materials for industrial and commercial applications that also help protect the environment.
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