The Construction Sector

  • The Construction sector is the second highest user of plastics after packaging.

Plastics in construction are mainly used for seals, profiles (windows and doors), pipes, cables, floor coverings, and insulation. Potentially, plastics have further uses as they do not rot, rust or need regular re-painting, they have strength with lack of weight, they are easily formable, and their light weight enables them to be easily transported and moved on site.

Areas of Use:


Piping and Conduit

Piping and Conduit are the largest users of polymers in construction and consume 35% of production. Producing cabling, rainwater goods, large diameter pipes for sewage, drainage and potable water made from PVC and Polyethylene.

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Cladding and Profiles

Cladding and profiles for windows, doors, coving, and skirting made from PVC-U, exterior cladding using phenolic is replacing timber rather than traditional resins which have a minimum fire risk.


Insulation is generally produced from Polystyrene rigid foam which is incorporated into panels or sandwiched into construction of walls and roofs. The insulation combines lightness and strength and is simple to install, and enables contractors to meet energy conservation regulations.

Seals and Gaskets

Seals and Gaskets are made from Elastomers whose main construction use is for weather strips, aperture seals, gaskets and expansion joints. The polymers used are chloroprene and EPDM which have weatherability, resistance to deformation and retain elasticity, and PVC in windows and doors, also as a membrane for roofing and linings. In addition, 250,000 tonnes of polymers are used as a base for adhesive systems and sealants.

A different range of properties. Examples of plastics used in building are:

  •  Acrylic.
  •  Composites.
  •  Expanded Polystyrene.
  •  Poly-carbonate.
  •  Polyethylene.
  •  Polypropylene.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride.
  • Colorants
  • Fillers and reinforcing agents
  • Flame retardants
  • Blowing agents
  • Blowing agents