The European Markets for Plastics Building Products
Of all the applications of plastics, building and construction is the second most important area, with a volume of 23 %, only coming second to packaging applications. The average working life of all plastics applications in construction is 35 years but, depending on the specific application, this has a wide variation between 5 years (such as wallpaper) and 80 years (such as pipes). These are only cautious assumptions, because there is not yet any practical long-term experience with a technically defined end to their working life.
The oldest plastic products, manufactured on a large scale and used in the building industry (such as pipes), have been in use for 55 years and are still functioning as well as on the very first day. With an assumed average working life of 35 years, there is technical depreciation of 2.85 % per year. Plastics in the construction industry are thus extremely economical with resources. Environmental balance sheets consider not only economical use of resources, but also the cost of maintenance during the life of the applications. Since most plastics are either easy to maintain or require no maintenance at all, they also achieve first-class marks in their life-cycle evaluation.
Compared with alternative materials in the building industry, plastics usually do better in environmental assessments. In addition to saving resources, the low maintenance cost throughout their life cycle and good recyclability of many plastics used in construction have a positive influence on these assessments.
The building and construction sector is, of course, fundamentally concerned with long-lasting products and materials, which may be in place for 40 years before they require replacement.
When the time comes, however, the great amount of technical work on recycling plastics building products to reuse the material will certainly prove an advantage. Many systems have been developed for re-using waste plastics as a central core of panels and large-diameter pipes - with good properties and economics. Plastics come in the form of thermoplastics or thermosets. As thermoplastics (which is the larger part of plastics building products), they can be shaped and re-shaped by the application of heat. The same basic facility can still be utilised for the re-use of recyclates from used products, to manufacture new products.
EuPC represents and promotes the interests of the European Plastics Converters towards their customers and the European Institutions through:
- being a provider of information
- being a platform of reflection and positioning
- being a promoter of plastics building and construction technologies and products
- building and construction division working groups
- drinking water, fire safety, sustainable construction and dangerous substances
Plastics in Building and Construction
The Building and Construction sector -currently the second largest user of plastics in Europe -is expected still to grow substantially in the future. Plastics have over the years become a material of choice for achieving economic and environmental balance between technological challenges and functional design.
Plastics in Building and Construction applications
- plastics for decorative laminates
- plastics for drainage and irrigation pipes
- plastics for drinking water pipes
- plastics for electrics and electronics
- plastics for fittings
- plastics for floor and wall coverings
- plastics for insulation materials
- plastics for roofing
- plastics for sewer pipes and ducts
- plastics for waterproofing
- plastics for window and door profiles
Plastics Features and Advantages in Building and Construction
- durability, corrosion resistant
- cold, heat and sound insulation for energy saving and noise reduction
- cost efficiency
- light weight
- maintenance free
- innovation applications with unlimited choice of surface, colours and materials for creative design