The Plastic Advantage: How Plastics are Changing The Construction Industry
The Plastic Advantage
Plastic has become the material of choice for many applications in the construction industry. More and more, architects, builders, and interior designers are looking to plastic when they need a durable, scratch-resistant material that will not corrode over time. They are also relying on plastics to optimize energy efficiency and safety, and plastics are frequently used in everything from blow molded concrete forms to plastic screws.
Plastics Save Energy
A one year study comparing energy consumption in buildings using plastic construction vs traditional building materials found that plastics saved an astounding 467.2 trillion Btu. To place that number in perspective, that’s enough energy to supply the annual energy demands of 4.6 million US households, according to this report by the American Chemistry Council.
Plastics play two major roles as energy-efficient insulation. Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) and rigid foam polyiso boards are durable polyurethane based systems providing the highest insulation efficiency as well as moisture control. SPF filling wall voids and rigid foam boards placed behind the siding and in attics is much more efficient, and less tedious to install than traditional rolled fiberglass insulation.
Polycarbonate is used for eyeglass lenses and now the lightweight, shatter-resistant plastic is finding a niche as a rival to traditional glass for window glazing. Aside from exceptional durability polycarbonate reduces heating and cooling costs thanks to its low thermal conductivity. Vinyl window frames also augment energy efficiency, saving 2 trillion thermal units per year according to the American Chemistry Council.
Corrosion Free Plumbing
Plastic piping has become a favorite with plumbers for its ease of installation and non-corrosive durability. Joinery doesn’t require soldering and plastic piping has excellent fusion integrity to prevent leaks. Homeowners can enjoy peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that plastic piping won’t corrode over time. Polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are all finding piping applications in modern home building.
Plastic vs Traditional Lumber
Recycled plastic and plastic/wood composites are pushing traditional lumber products aside for use in fences, decks, and railings. Plastic planks and rails are superior to natural wood materials since they are immune to warping and natural flaws such as knots or splits.
Again plastic durability outlasts traditional materials over time for easy maintenance because of resistance to cracking and splintering. Tedious and repeated painting, sealing, and staining isn’t necessary over time, and outdoor plastic structures can be restored to like-new condition with a quick and easy power-wash.
Valencia Plastics offers a full range of plastics production services including blow molding, injection molding, and mold making. We proudly serve the medical, aerospace, defense, telecommunications, automotive, electronics, and consumer industries. We can provide guidance and engineering services in-house for inventors and new product development so don’t hesitate to contact us for all your plastic production needs.