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Plastics are used on a daily basis throughout
the world. The word plastic is a common term
that is used for many materials of a synthetic
or semi-synthetic nature. The term was
derived from the Greek plastikos, which
means “fit for molding.”
One way plastics changed the world was in
cost. It was so much cheaper to manufacture
than other materials and the various ways it
could be used was staggering.
Due to their relatively ease of manufacture,
versatility, and imperviousness to water, low cost,
plastics are used in an enormous and expanding
range of products, from paper clips to spaceships.
They have already displaced many traditional
• horn and bone
• and ceramic
The development of plastics has evolved from the
use of natural plastic materials to the use of
chemically modified, natural materials and finally
to completely synthetic molecules.
Early plastics were bio-derived materials such as
egg and blood proteins, which are organic
Although hard plastics like Bakelite were used as
early as 1909, it wasn’t really big until later.
Plastic (LDPE) bowl, by
GEECO, Made in England,
TYPES OF PLASTIC
There are two main types of plastics –
Thermoplastics : which are softened by heat and
can be moulded.
Thermosets : which are formed by heat process
but are then set (like concrete) and cannot change
shape by reheating.
Composites are made by mixing materials
together to get enhanced properties.
Light in weight.
Can be easily moulded and have excellent finishing.
Possess very good strength and toughness.
Corrosion resistant and chemically inert.
Low thermal expansion of co-efficient and possess
good thermal and electrical insulating property.
Very good water resistant and possess good
Strong, good and cheap to produce.
• Plastic is a nonrenewable resources
• Causes CANCER
• Embrittlement at low temperature.
• Deformation under load.
• Low heat resistant and poor ductility.
• Produces toxic fumes when it is burnt
• It is a recycle process, but it is very costly.
AS A BUILDING MATERIAL
• Plastics are strong yet lightweight,
and so they are easy to transport &
• They are durable, knock-and
scratch resistant with excellent
• They do not rot or corrode.
• Plastics are easy to install; many
have a snap-fit kind of jointing
• Plastics offer limitless possibilities
in design achieved by extrusion,
bending, moulding etc.
• They can be given any range of
colours by adding pigments.
• The plastics are low conductors
of heat and thus are used as
insulation materials in green
• The plastics products can achieve
• They can be sawn and nailed
employing standard carpentry
tools and skills.
• They can be easily removed and
• They are bad conductors of
Pipes : Electrical Conduits, Rain
Water & Sewage pipes, Plumbing,
Cables : PVC Insulation on cables,
Insulation Tapes .
Floorings : Flooring tiles & Rolls .
Domes / sky lights : Opaque as
well as transparent.
Roofing : Coloured or Double
skinned for insulation.
Windows & doors : Extruded
sections for Door and windows and
Storage tanks : Storage tanks.
Hardware accessories : Washers,
Nut bolts, Sleeves, Anchoring wires.
Temporary structures: Guard
Insulation materials: PVC sheets,
Available in two types:
• Hard polypropylene
• Soft PVC.
Each type of plastic flooring is incredibly
Generally used for Garages, and
Both types are capable of supporting extreme
weight loads and resistant to oils/solvents.
PVC is a softer, more pliable option which
typically provides a softer flooring for
standing or working. This makes it very
popular in warehouses and other industrial
LIKE WOOD FINISH
Canteen Walls and Ceilings
Food Processing Areas
Fast Food Outlets
Easy to clean
Hygienic Wall & Ceilings
Easy to Install
Choice of colours & styles
At first sight, plastics may appear to be a poor fit in the context of green
building. Many in the design and construction industry consider plastics
“unnatural” and nowhere near as “green” as more traditional materials
like wood. However, more considered analysis reveals that plastic
building materials bring a lot of advantages to the table, including
• energy efficiencies
• lower greenhouse gas emissions
Water Cube; The National
Aquatic Centre in Beijing
Plastics materials, including vinyl, are increasingly being used in green
building projects to help lessen the environmental impact of a building in
several key areas, such as energy, materials, water and indoor
Plastic house by Kengo Kuma made entirely of
plastic (urethane panels)
Situated in Tokyo, Japan
LIMITATIONS – AS A BUILDING MATERIAL
• Plastics may be degraded under
the action of direct sunlight
which reduces their mechanical
• Many plastics are flammable
• High embodied energy content
• Low modulus of elasticity:
makes them unsuitable for
• Thermoplastics are subject to creep
and soften at moderate
• Thermal expansion for most
plastics is high: adequate thermal
movement has to be allowed in
• Building Material and Construction, B.C. Punmia
• BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27442625)
• SAB Magazine (http://www.sabmagazine.com/blog/2008/12/18/water-cube/)