The Polymer Building Materials That Are Changing the Construction Industry

How polymer building and polymer processing are used in construction today?

Polymer building materials are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry due to their versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

Polymers are synthetic materials made from long chains of molecules that can be manipulated to create various shapes and sizes. They can be used for many applications, including insulation, waterproofing, structural reinforcement, and decorative elements.

Polymer processing is manipulating polymers to create a desired shape or size. This can be done through various methods, including extrusion, injection molding, and thermoforming. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your project is essential.

The Quick History of Polymer Materials


The history of polymer materials in construction dates back to 1850 when Alexander Parkes invented the first thermoplastic, Parkesine. This plastic quickly became popular and was used for various products, such as combs and umbrella handles.

Then, in 1907, Leo Baekeland developed Bakelite – the world’s first fully synthetic plastic – which enabled manufacturers to create an even more comprehensive range of products from plastics. These two inventions paved the way for modern plastics.

The Use of Plastic in Construction in the Past

Plastic has been used in construction since its invention and was an essential part of the building process. Plastic was used to coat bricks before insulation became available.

This helped protect the bricks from weathering and gave them a much more attractive look than traditional techniques, such as painting or stucco.

Coating the brick with plastic allowed for more decorative elements to be added to buildings, such as groves, curves, ridges, and other architectural features that were difficult or impossible with traditional techniques.

Uses of Polymer Materials in Construction Today

polymer plaster board

Polymers are advantageous due to their low cost and easy fabrication, making them an excellent choice for large and small projects.

Polymers have become increasingly popular in recent years due to technological advances, allowing them to be used on a larger scale while still being eco-friendly.

These materials can be incorporated into various construction projects such as window frames, shingles, light fixtures, pipes, insulation, and EIPs (expanded polystyrene insulation).

Polymers offer various benefits, including improved energy efficiency by reducing heat loss through the walls or roof; increased structural strength; reduction in weight for lightweight structures; moisture resistance; fire retardancy; chemical resistance, and corrosion protection.

In addition to these uses on building sites, such as plumbing or household appliances like dishwashers or cookers, they also often use polymer components due to their durability compared with traditional materials such as wood or metal.

Future Trends of Polymer Materials in Construction

The use of polymers in the construction and building sectors has grown exponentially in recent years. Polymers are being developed to provide various structural, non-structural, and decorative applications.

Advances in plastic technology have allowed for complex designs such as bridges and stadiums to be made out of plastic material. Additionally, new materials are allowing for faster construction times than ever before.

One future trend is self-healing and intelligent/reactive polymers, which can repair themselves if damaged or respond to changing conditions, making them invaluable for long-term projects that need flexibility.

Furthermore, polymer additives can be incorporated into traditional building materials like mortar and concrete to improve their strength or durability without compromising aesthetics or cost efficiency.

Overall, with the continuing development of plastic technology, the scope of what is possible with polymer application will continue expanding significantly over time.

This could revolutionize how we build structures by simultaneously making them lighter yet more robust – all while utilizing recycled materials that would create a more sustainable environment moving forward!

The Properties of Polymer Materials

Polymer materials are lightweight and low-density compared to other materials, such as steel.

They can be natural or synthetic and have many uses in everyday life – from clothing to medical supplies. The low density of polymer materials is due mainly to their light elements composition.

For example, polymethyl pentane has a density of 830 kg per cubic meter; polypropylene (PP) has a density of 905 kg per cubic meter; and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) has a

The Types of Polymers and How They Are Used in Construction

polymer pipes

Polymers are versatile materials used in construction to create a variety of products. They can be made from various substances, including plastics, rubbers, thermoplastic elastomers, adhesives, sealants, and paints.

Polymers are easy to fabricate and cost-effective for producing finished products for their wide range of applications in construction. One popular type of polymer is epoxy resin which has many desirable properties when cured, such as heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and electrical insulation.

This makes it an incredibly versatile substance used in many construction projects, such as bonding stone, glass, metal concrete, most plastics, and wood. It is also helpful for waterproofing or filling gaps between surfaces due to its adhesive qualities.

Overall, polymers offer great value in the construction industry as they are durable yet cost-effective materials with numerous favorable properties that make them ideal for many building projects.

Ethyl Vinyl Acetate

Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate used in various construction applications. It has excellent elasticity, toughness, and adhesion to many different surfaces.

This makes it an ideal choice for various building materials, such as hot-melt adhesives, hot glue sticks, and top-notch soccer cleats. EVA also offers excellent flex-crack and puncture resistance when applied to construction projects.

Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene (PE) is a versatile and widely used thermoplastic found in many construction projects. PE is lightweight, easy to work with, and has excellent resistance to chemicals, heat, and UV light.

This makes it ideal for various applications, including roofing membranes, window films, vapor retarders, flooring materials, countertop protection products, and more. PE also has superior flexibility compared to other plastics, allowing it to be heated or cooled without degrading its properties.

Its durability makes it an ideal material for many construction projects, as it can withstand harsh weather conditions such as strong winds or heavy rain.


Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. It has many valuable properties, such as being lightweight yet strong, temperature resistant up to 140°C (with some grades able to go even lower), and shatter-resistant.

This makes it ideal for building applications such as windows and walls, roofs, and other protective barriers like safety shields. It also has excellent optical clarity, allowing light to pass through it quickly.

Polycarbonate is also flame retardant, making it safer in specific areas like kitchens or laboratories. With all these benefits plus its low cost compared to other materials like glass or metal, polycarbonate is quickly becoming the material of choice for many construction projects worldwide.

Polymer Substrates

Polymer substrates are materials composed of synthetic resins, fillers, plasticizers, curing agents, and other components increasingly used in the construction industry. Polymer concrete is a polymer substrate with many applications, such as prefabricated walls, hydraulic structures, road surfaces and decks, and underground constructions.

The use of polymer substrates in construction has been found to possess several unique advantages over traditional materials.

For instance, they have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than conventional concrete, which makes them ideal for lightweight building constructions.

Additionally, they have superior resistance to harsh environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures or chemical exposure due to their strong bond between the resin molecules.

Furthermore, fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs) can be used for prefabrication purposes, thus providing affordable housing options for the growing population.

Research has also been conducted on various aspects regarding the properties of polymer substrates, including flexural behavior tests on polymer concrete; mechanical properties testing on nano-MMT reinforced polymer composite; durability assessments on waste products used in obtaining a composite material; crack propagation studies on unsaturated polyester PC; etc.

Thus, there is an increasing interest in studying the various features and uses of this relatively new material to maximize its potential benefits within construction projects worldwide.

Polymer Binders

Polymer binders modify cement pastes and mortars to improve their physical properties. These polymers are added to the cement mixture, which helps reduce its stiffness and provide flexibility.

These polymers’ performance depends on the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the emulsifier used for commercial production. The microstructure, polymer-cement matrix interaction, hydration evolution, film-forming process, and mechanical performance of polymer-modified mortars have been extensively studied.

Furthermore, renewable resources derived materials (RRDM), such as biochar, rice husk ash, palm fruit ash, or soybean flour, have also been explored successfully as polymer binders. Tarar et al., for instance, studied the effects of RRDM on asphalt binder performance in terms of rheological properties and anti-aging performance.

Polymer binders are essential components in construction projects that help improve specific physical properties of cement mixtures while also being made from renewable sources when available.