When it comes to outdoor products, such as garden furniture or signs, there are a number of materials that can be used, including steel, aluminum, plastic and wood, for example, however, there is one material type that is probably more versatile than the others for many exterior applications: outdoor plastics.
The advantage outdoor plastics have over other materials is the vast range of polymers that are available each having specific properties to match different environments. For instance, you can select plastics that are tough, hard-wearing, corrosion resistant, brightly colored, or transparent like glass. This list of properties is almost endless.
Because there are so many plastics available that suit different situations, plastic can be found in everyday outdoor products that span a multitude of industries. But before you start to design your next outdoor product from plastic, there are some factors you need to consider about the polymers you select.
To help you understand what outdoor plastics are more suitable for different applications we have put top-level guides together for a selection of common outdoor products that we’ve worked on for clients here at Sofeast.
Power tools are an essential part of today’s building, DIY, and garden care arsenal whichincludes power drills, sanders, screwdrivers, lawn mowers, weed whackers (strimmers), hedge trimmers, and other powered tools. Most of these products incorporate a percentage of outdoor plastics as part of their overall assembly, now the question is, what is the best plastic to use for these different products?
We review the power drill as a typical example and examine a number of plastic alternatives, which could be used for any power tool manufacturing. You can read the guide to power tool plastics here.
If you are designing signs for shop front names or large billboard-size signs with LED backlighting, you will need to understand which plastics can withstand the potentially extreme weather conditions it could face. We will be looking into plastic glass and other glass replacement plastics for outdoor signs in this article.
Plastic outdoor furniture can also be referred to as patio furniture or garden furniture is designed for the outdoors, therefore, it needs to withstand all the elements of the weather from changes in temperatures to UV exposure from the sun and wet conditions with heavy rain and snow.
The typical plastic outdoor furniture set includes chairs, tables, planters, steps, trellises, and even birdbaths. All these products need to be manufactured from the correct plastic in order to meet the design criteria, whether this is load bearing parameters for seats, shear stress for wall-hanging planters, water absorption resistance, and brittle fractures at low temperatures.
We are going to look at the most commonly used materials for plastic outdoor furniture here.
The construction industry is the second largest user of plastic globally, consuming around 25% of plastics used across all industries. This is for good reason as it is so versatile and adaptable for the multiple products used in the construction and building industry.
Construction plastics are prolifically used within the industry because they are so versatile. Its strength-to-weight ratio makes it easy to transport and manoeuvre within the building site. Plastic is also resistant to corrosion and has very good weather resistance. The ability to form and shape plastic gives it the advantage of maintaining its integrity, however, where joints are required, it also has excellent sealing properties with many polymers having the ability to solvent weld together making a permanent bond.
In order to review material suitability to products, let’s have a look at some typical products and evaluate the different outdoor plastics that are often used in construction projects in this article.
You can learn more about plastics by reading and watching this content:
- Thermoplastics VS Thermosets (Common Production Materials) video playlist
- Plastics Recycling Numbers
- The benefits of silicone as a production material and how it compares to common plastics white paper
- Oil Based Plastic Alternatives: Key Types of Bioplastics white paper
- Bioplastics’ Key Advantages & Disadvantages
- Plastic injection molding videos
- How to Measure the Flexibility of the Plastic You Buy in China?