Construction Recovery Spurs Plastic Extrusion Demand
In the last few months we’ve seen positive signs that the UK construction sector has turned a corner, since enquiries for plastic extrusions for construction applications are up.
We’re expecting demand for plastic extrusions for construction projects to remain stable and hopefully increase following reports this week that UK construction firms are at their most confident since the financial crisis.
In January, the UK construction sector grew at its fastest pace since August 2007. Research firm Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector rose to 64.6, one of the highest figures documented since the survey began in 1997. March’s monthly index has just come in at 62.5, which remains well above the neutral 50 mark, signifying another month of strong output and growth.
Whilst commercial building work and civil engineering activity is rising, the domestic building market is equally recovering at a fast rate as government efforts to make mortgages easier to access through Help to Buy schemes is increasing demand for new homes.
Amongst all this positivity, there are some concerns that limitations on the supply side could stunt the construction sector’s growth if materials and labour fail to keep up with demand. According to the latest Markit report, out of all raw materials outputs, timber is by far experiencing the severest supply shortages – not helped by the recent UK floods and booming demand from foreign markets – and as a consequence, upward pressure on price.
Plastic extrusions for the Construction sector
The construction sector relies heavily on the plastics industry, in particular for PVC building materials which are widely used due to their cost-effectiveness, versatility for both indoor and outdoor use and positive environmental impact on construction projects.
PVC extrusions in construction are used throughout the entire building process from the initial foundations to the finished exterior and interior work. Since PVC is resistant to corrosion PVC profiles, sections and trims are used extensively on the exterior of buildings, for instance, guttering, window frames and wall cladding.
Extruded PVC building materials can either be constructed from rigid PVC or flexible PVC. A few examples of rigid PVC extrusions in construction include window profiles, roofing profiles, electrical equipment housing, cable ducts and shower seals.
Some of the most common uses for flexible PVC extrusions in construction include cable insulation, water stops, gaskets and pipes.