Structural plastic in construction is one of the most prominent areas where plastic products come in handy. In this particular niche, plastic can serve a wide array of functions, from windows and structural elements to parts for construction vehicles like forklifts.
In fact, if you walk around any building or construction site, you’re likely to find plastics at work. And these materials offer tons of benefits over more traditional materials like metal and wood in the right circumstances.
If you’re in the construction industry and are looking for quality materials for use in various projects, here’s a guide to the different ways to utilize structural plastic in construction.
Engineered Plastic Components in Construction
One of the main qualities of plastic that makes it perfect for use in construction and a variety of other industries is its ability to be shaped, formed, and cut into very specific components. This is where engineered structural plastic parts come in. This category can encompass basically any component that is needed to complete a project.
More specifically, plastic can be used to insulate wiring and electronic components. It can be used in plumbing systems. And it can even be used to create small items like screws and hinges. All of these items benefit from strong, durable, customizable parts. And those are exactly the qualities that plastics provide.
When it comes to structural plastic in construction, plastics still offer plenty of strength and durability. If a construction team needs a beam or panel of a specific size, they can easily have plastic parts fabricated to meet their dimensional requirements. And these parts are generally much lighter than those made of other materials, making them especially easy to work with.
Plastics for Forklifts and Construction Equipment
Construction projects often benefit from large pieces of equipment like forklifts, excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks, and more. However, these important tools may sometimes require replacement parts or components. And that’s where plastics may come in handy.
Clear plastics like acrylic and polycarbonate are especially popular for windshields and operator protection in these pieces of equipment. They allow clear visibility while still providing a protective barrier around the person operating each piece of machinery. These materials are also more impact resistant than glass. So if any construction materials or debris strike the windshield or other components, they are unlikely to break or shatter and leave the operator vulnerable or negatively impact visibility.
Additionally, machinery like forklifts may also benefit from other plastic parts to help support and lift materials used on construction sites. Since plastics are so easy to form into specific shapes and sizes, these materials can be used to fabricate custom components for specific projects. Or they can be used to replace broken or worn down parts that are no longer available in the size or specs needed.
Windows and Skylights
Clear plastics like polycarbonate and acrylic can also be used in place of glass in building components like windows, doors, and skylights. These materials are lightweight and easy to form into specific shapes. So those that need unique glass doors or panels that fit with specific skylights can easily get the exact materials they need.
They are also more impact resistant than glass, so they’re less likely to break or shatter when struck by flying debris. Specifically, acrylic is about ten times more impact resistant than glass. And polycarbonate can be up to 250 times stronger.
Why Plastic Is Perfect for the Construction Industry
One of the largest benefits of using plastic as a construction material is its relatively low cost. Plastics tend to be significantly less expensive to produce and manipulate than most other materials, especially high quality ones like metals. It can also be produced in large quantities fairly easily, making it a simple and economical choice for large projects or builders that prefer to order materials in bulk.
Plastic is also incredibly lightweight compared to many other construction materials like metal and even wood. This makes it easier for builders and construction crews to transport and install materials, and gives them greater flexibility for maneuvering around job sites. Specifically, plastic can be transported in much larger quantities than many other materials, since heavier materials can quickly exceed towing or hauling capacities on various vehicles and pieces of equipment. This can help crews dramatically cut down on transportation costs to and from sites and also save time on those extra trips. Once the materials are on site, crew members can easily and safely lift plastics into place without worrying too much about strain or injury.
Finally, plastics are incredibly versatile. They can be fabricated in the exact dimensions and shapes needed for a specific project. And you can even specify the exact colors and finishes needed to match the look or style desired for a particular building or construction project.
If you’re looking to utilize structural plastic in construction, contact Fabshapes to discuss your options. We offer a huge variety of high quality plastic materials from top manufacturers and provide expert conversion capabilities to customize orders to your exact specifications. In addition to providing structural plastic in construction industry applications, we’re equipped to support clients in various industries, including transportation providers, energy companies, healthcare centers, and even schools. As part of the Polymershapes network of nationwide plastics fabrication providers, we have the resources to support clients quickly, whether they’re looking for standard or custom solutions. To get started, just fill out the form on our website to request a quote and a member of our team will get back to you within 24 hours.