Vigilancia tecnológica

Vigilancia Tecnológica

Plastic Innovations for Building and Construction on Display at CHINAPLAS 2021

As an end market, building and construction has long been one of the biggest consumers of plastic and polymer composite materials. Applications are diverse, and range from roofing, decks, siding, fencing and insulation, to pipes, flooring, solar panels, windows, doors and more. The latest developments in plastics and rubber in the building and construction sector will be on display at CHINAPLAS 2021 in Shenzhen from April 13-16.
Despite the global pandemic, both materials and equipment used in the building and construction industry remain in demand. Additionally, innovation continues apace boosting product aesthetics and performance, as well as regarding efforts to find ever more sustainable ways to leverage recycled materials in the desired end products.
Incorporating Recycled Content to Minimize Wastage
Building and construction remains a huge market for plastic products. In construction, applications tend to value durability and have a long lifespan, sometimes remaining in use for several years, if not decades. Think PVC windows, siding or flooring, or polyethylene water pipes and the like. But still, sustainability is front and center for companies developing new products for this market. The aim is both to minimize waste during production, and to incorporate more recycled content into products such as roofing and decking.
The U.S.-based Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC) recently presented its 2020 Vinyl Recycling Award to a pair of firms –– Azek Co. and Sika Sarnafil, a unit of Sika AG. Chicago-based Azek has increased the use of recycled content in its TimberTech-brand of capped PVC deck boards from 30 percent to 63 percent. It sourced nearly half of the recycled material from external post-industrial and post-consumer sources, diverting some 300 million pounds of waste from landfills in 2019.
Canton, Massachusetts-based Sika Sarnafil, meanwhile, was recognized for using recycled content in the Sarnafil and Sikaplan brands of its single-ply roofing products. Those materials now contain a UL-certified 10 percent recycled content. Sika used the products to repair a 30-year-old PVC roof on the Rogers Center, a large arena in Toronto, Canada.
Use of Vinyl in Flooring
Flooring is another fast-growing end use for vinyl in both residential and commercial construction. While cheap-looking, utilitarian vinyl has been used in flooring for many years, new production methods are helping to raise the quality and image of the product so that it can closely mimic wood or stone finishes while still being softer underfoot, durable and easy to clean.
It also is growing in popularity for use in medical emergency and operating rooms, as these materials have a coating that resists chemical staining from medical products and bodily fluids.
Wood/Plastic Composite Decking
Compounder Teknor Apex Co. just rolled out new, highly weatherable, polyolefin-based compounds for the outer or “cap” layers of dark-color wood/plastic composite (WPC) decking. These materials are said to provide greater durability and scratch-resistance than widely used competing compounds, while helping manufacturers to contain costs.
Dubbed the Weatherguard® WG-9000 Series, these compounds –– made with a combination of polyethylene (PE) and wood flour –– reportedly offer five- to tenfold improvements in elongation and impact strength compared with a standard competing compound, while sacrificing only 15 percent in tensile strength. The WG-9015 LG grade, when used as a 50 percent concentrate with PE, eliminates the need to use expensive ionomer resin, which often is used in WPC compounds to improve scratch resistance.
Graphite FR Additive for Roofing Applications
NeoGraf Solutions LLC in Lakewood, Ohio, has introduced a graphite-based, non-halogenated, flame-retardant additive designed for plastics applications requiring excellent flame retardancy in construction, such as polypropylene (PP) roofing, as well as other sectors such as aerospace and mass transit.
NeoGraf is targeting its new GrafGuard 280-50N expandable graphite flake FR additive for used in thermoplastics, especially specialty polymers with high processing temperatures such as composites and multi-functional systems with high melting points for both injection molded and thermoformed applications.
Plastic-based Façade Material in Trend
Dutch construction supplier fischer Benelux BV, together with Germany’s FISCO GmbH, are using composite materials to create a force-bearing fixture called the ThermoBracket. For the components, the parties selected Covestro AG’s Desmocomp aliphatic polyurethane.
The part functions as a façade element on buildings and replaces the aluminum fastening systems that builders typically use to attach rear-ventilated facades to building structures. Aluminum is strong and lightweight, but also tends to act as a thermal bridge since it has higher thermal conductivity than that of the surrounding materials, which can cause condensation and lead to thermal insulation problems.
FISCO and fischer tested several resin technologies, and determined that Desmocomp delivered the best mechanical load, flame resistance, and insulation properties. Its thermal conductivity is some 1,000 times lower than a standard metal product. Covestro says its material is also highly resistant to UV radiation, which is important for long-term outdoor use.
Rapid Production of Extruded Pipes
When it comes to extruding pipe, Battenfeld-Cincinnati believes in size and flexibility. It claims to make extrusion dies with the world’s largest adjustable melt gap, enabling the rapid production of pipes in diameters up to 1,600 mm (63 inches) without requiring die changeovers.
The company sold this line to Policonductos SA de CV, in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Policonductos uses the equipment to extrude HDPE pipes for fresh water supply, sewage disposal, and mining applications in dimensions ranging from 16 in. x 0.5 in. and 3.8 in. x 0.06 in.
Battenfeld-Cincinnati says an adjustable melt gap allows the pipe maker, with the mere push of a button, to produce pipe of different dimensions on its line, thereby enhancing its ability to respond quickly to market trends.

Fecha publicación: 02/04/2021

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