This exponential growth is mainly due to the unique characteristics of thermoplastic polymers which include:
• Effective insulation from cold and heat: Prevents energy loss and allows energy saving while reducing noise pollution.
• Cost reduction: production and installation of a plastic component is often much cheaper than traditional materials.
• Hygiene and safety: plastics are the optimal choice for domestic surfaces and coverings for hygienic floors as they are easy to clean and waterproof. The use in pipes is ideal.
• Fire resistance: the majority of thermoplastic polymers can be made fire-resistant according to various levels and regulations; moreover some materials such as the known PVC are fire resistant for innate characteristics.
• The durability of plastics: makes them the ideal solution for applications such as window and pipe fixtures. In addition, their anti-corrosion properties allow them to have an impressive life span of more than 100 years for plastic pipes and 50 years for underground and external cables.
• Speed of execution of works: cost factor often more important than the materials used; ease of use, including by low-skilled workers.
• The duration of construction or redevelopment work in order to ensure maximum safety and minimize maintenance needs;
• The reduction of the environmental impact assessed in a logic of the entire life cycle of the products, taking therefore in consideration the phases of extraction and origin of the raw materials, production, distribution, transport, installation, use and disposal;
• The energy efficiency of buildings, through thermal insulation systems suitable both for new constructions and for the adaptation of the existing system.
• Offers affordable innovative products that reduce the environmental impact of industrial processing activities throughout the construction chain.
An analysis (AIPE, Italian Expanded Polystyrene Association) has evidenced that, in Italy, if all the houses were subjected to energetic requalification, they could be brought down of two thirds approximately:
• both energy consumption, with an annual saving of 20 million tons of oil equivalent;
• and CO2 emissions, avoiding about 60 million tons per year.