Did you realize that oil is necessary for the production of plastic? To be exact, 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce 1 billion plastic bottles.

You may be asking how the oil is used to make the plastic. It uses a substance called Polymers.

Polymers have many functions and are being used in items all around you and your home.

Polymers are becoming the highest growth material used in construction. The construction industry trends have shown how important this substance can be.

Keep reading this guide to explore the role polymers have and what products they are being used in today

What Is a Polymer?

Polymers are super long molecules made up of many repetitive subunits called monomers. “Poly” comes from the Greek word many, and “mer” translates to units.

Each material has a unique property that depends on the type of molecules that are being bonded and how those molecules are being bonded.

Synthetic polymers are used to produce plastic by using a process called polymerization. It was first invented in the 1850s by Alexander Parkes and was called “Parkestine.” The product was a big disappointment due to its tendency to crack and was also thought to be highly flammable.

Polymers in Material

Synthetic polymers have come a long way since they were first invented. They are being used in products and materials all around you. There are now thousands of commercially available polymers being used in the construction industry.

Some of the materials that use synthetic polymers include:

  • Rubber
  • Polyester
  • Glass
  • Epoxies
  • Plastic
  • Paints
  • Sealants
  • Foams
  • Adhesives
  • And many More

Synthetic polymers are newer to the market than many other construction materials that have been around for thousands of years. They are becoming increasingly more popular due to its flexible properties and multiple uses. Certain polymers can stretch and bend and others are solid and tough.

The potential uses of polymers in construction are almost endless. They can be used to reinforce, insulate, thicken, seal and so much more.

Plastic is one of the most sought after materials in the construction industry today, using around 25 percent of the global supply.

Here is a list of some of the more common properties of polymers in construction:

  • Chemical resistance – Resistance against chemicals and solvents.
  • Stability – Can be reshaped and reused.
  • Sealing – Used to make O-rings, creating a barrier to prevent leaks.
  • Durability – Good durability and surface hardness.
  • Electric Insulation – Used for lining electric cables.
  • Finishes – Can be given any finish treatment.
  • Fire Resistant – Varies depending on the type used. Generally do not catch fire easily.
  • Fixing – Bolt, drill, or glue to hold.
  • Maintenance – Very easy, low maintenance.
  • Melting Point – Generally have very low melting points.
  • Recycling – Reused to make fencing, handrails, carpets, benches, and more.
  • Sound Absorption – Good insulators.
  • Strength – Strong materials used in many products.
  • Weather Resistant – Most are resistant against weather.
  • Weight – Generally very light and easily transported.

For More on Polymers

Polymers are all around us. They are used in almost every aspect of life as we know it. Looking at the construction industry trends gives us a good idea of why they are being used so much and how we expect them to become increasingly more popular in the future.

For more information on industry trends and the use of polymers, check out our website!

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