Polymers in Construction

Polymer materials account for the highest growth area in construction materials. In basic terms, polymers are very long molecules typically made up of many thousands of repeat units. They include plastics, rubbers, thermoplastic elastomers, adhesives, foams, paints and sealants.

Well established applications of polymers in construction include areas such as flooring, windows, cladding, rainwater, pipes, membranes, seals, glazing, insulation and signage. With thousands of commercially available polymers new applications are continuously emerging.

Confidence in the performance and properties of construction materials has always been important and may be of particular interest for polymers, which are relatively new compared to traditional material types that have been in use for hundreds or thousands of years.

The introduction of polymeric materials can bring new concerns particularly relating to their longevity, how they will be affected by general ageing and weathering, the effects of pollution and what will happen to them at their end of life.

Examples of polymer materials in construction applications:

Polymer Type Applications
Epoxy resins Solid resin and Terrazzo flooring, Anchor fixings, Adhesives
Ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) Solar panel encapsulants
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) Concrete moulds, Insulation, Packaging
Polycarbonate Lighting housings, Fittings in hot water systems, Glazing
Polyester (thermosetting) FRP Bridge sections, Cladding Panels, Sinks, Surfaces, Coatings
Polyethylene Foam underlay, Damp-proof membranes, Coatings
Polyisobutylene (PIB) Glazing sealants, Waterproof membranes
Polymethylmethacrylate / Acyrlic (PMMA) Surfaces, Sinks
Polypropylene (PP) Sound insulation, Water pipes, Waste pipes
Polyurethane (PU) Sealants, Concrete jointing
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) Sealants, Concrete jointing
Rubber Bridge bearings, Flooring


Marion Ingle

For further information contact: Marion Ingle, Senior Associate
Direct Tel: 020 7565 7063
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