11 Types of Plastic Used in Construction and its Applications

11 Types of Plastic Used in Construction and its Applications

September 6, 2019 0 By Edward H. Howard

Plastic is one of the most used materials in construction because it is light, cheap and very versatile. Although there are many people who are against its use in everyday life, the truth is that today there are no other efficient enough alternatives to replace plastic in construction.

Plastic is used in many construction products and, once the building is finished, plastic is also used as a base element for a multitude of complements or decorative objects inside our homes. In the construction of buildings, we can find plastics in pipes, coatings, floors, insulation, panels, doors, windows, glass, bathroom units, grilles, railings and a growing list of applications both structural and interior or decorative.

For fittings, valves, and pipes, plastics offer superior corrosion resistance and are easier, lighter to install, and more cost-effective than their alternatives. Insensitive to chemicals and sulfur-containing compounds, plastic piping safely carries everything from freshwater to saltwater and from crude oil to laboratory waste. These qualities have also been combined with a “high strength-to-weight” ratio of plastics to produce materials for bridge construction, including reinforcing bars, non-slip paving, and quick-installation replacement decks.

For commercial buildings containing sensitive electronic equipment, plastics can provide highly protected housing that does not interfere with radio frequency or magnetic waves. Let’s now have a look at the different types of plastic and some of its applications in construction.  In case you are thinking about a reno for your home or your business building, you can find them all online at suppliers’ websites such as https://harwalshop.com/category/plastic/.


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Acrylic is often used as a rigid material to replace glass, for example, in shower screens can washbasins or for greenhouse windows like cutmyplastic.co.uk does. It is a highly inflammable material so it is better to use it in places that are likely to be wet.


Polyethylene is a plastic membrane used to insulate some metals and electric cables. It is also used in construction to insulate the building from the ground in slabs and screeds.


PVC is perhaps the variety of plastic most used in construction, from vinyl floors to waterproof coatings, curtains for bathrooms, furniture, window frames, sanitation pipes, plumbing pipes, and so on.


Polypropylene is a plastic used in many household objects such as rubbish bins or even furniture. In construction, it is usually used to make the boxes of the different electrical points, but we can also find it in plumbing pipes or air conditioning installations


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Polystyrene is a variant of plastic which is mainly used for insulation in its foam version, it is also used for packaging and decorative elements such as ceiling mouldings. Polystyrene is a plastic foam of thermoplastic character constituted by a set of particles of closed cellular structure intimately joined together. In the transformation, the raw material is subjected to the action of water vapour, so that the small polystyrene expandable beads increase their volume up to 50 times, imprisoning a large amount of air inside which makes it an excellent thermal insulator and inert material.


Nylon is used above all in decorative elements for the interior of our homes, such as carpets or upholstery. It can also be used to manufacture bars for curtains and ornaments for doors.

Polyvinyl acetate

Polyvinyl is a polymer which is obtained by polymerization of vinyl acetate. One of the main uses of polyvinyl acetate is that of adhesive -mainly for wood but also useful for joining materials such as paper and textiles. Polyvinyl acetate can also be found in paint cans and acrylic latex cans.


Polyurethane is frequently used in all types of paints and varnishes as an insulating material and it can also be found in cushion covers, foam fillings, etc.

Epoxy resin

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Epoxy resins are thermosetting polymers that harden when mixed with a catalyst or “hardener”. Epoxies are widely used in print coatings, both to protect against corrosion and to improve the adhesion of subsequent paint coats. It is also used as an adhesive as it is used to glue a large number of materials. In addition, epoxy resins are excellent electrical insulators and are used in many components to protect against short circuits, dust, moisture, etc.


Formaldehyde is a binder used in a large number of products, especially in manufactured wood panels. It can also be found inside our homes as part of fabrics or carpets.

Urea Formaldehyde

Urea-formaldehyde (UF), also known as urea-metal is a thermostable resin or plastic, made from urea and formaldehyde. It heats in the presence of a weak base, such as ammonia or pyridine.