A new study of plastic building material from the United States found that the material was as brittle and unfit for high-rise buildings as wood.
The study, published in the journal Building Materials, looked at the materials used to construct buildings and found that pickett building construction materials were more likely to be prone to cracking and cracking-like injuries than the same materials used for building construction.
“The plastic materials we studied are among the most common building materials used in the United State, and the materials that were used to build the structures that we looked at were among the worst performing,” study lead author Dr. John Pickett, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, said in a statement.
“We believe that these findings show that the plastic building product is a better building material than other building materials for building use.”
While some of the materials studied were used for constructing homes, the majority of the plastics used for construction were from the construction industry.
Pickett Building Materials found that a number of plastics, including polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyester, polyacrylonitrile, and polypropyl methacrylate, were more prone to breaking than wood.
“In terms of structural properties, they are better for high floors and for building-level impacts than wood,” Pickett said.
Pickett said that the plastics he looked at, like polyproprene, were “better performing than wood” and were the least likely to crack and break.
He said the materials made of these materials were “in a similar or worse state” than wood, and were likely more susceptible to failure due to its “worse mechanical properties.”
“The materials are very expensive and if you are not careful, the plastic that you use could be the source of future problems,” Picketts said.
“When you look at the structural properties of these plastics, they aren’t much better than wood and they are very poor for high impact events.”
Pickett says the plastics were used primarily for building buildings in urban areas where the density of buildings was high, but he added that the materials could also be used for homes.
“One thing that we found is that in the most populous parts of the United, they were used in urban and suburban residential areas and also in suburban rural areas, where the population density is less than a hundred people per square kilometer,” Pickets said.
The researchers found that only 20 percent of the plastic materials used by the United Kingdom and Australia were rated as “acceptable” or “very acceptable” for high impacts.
The other 20 percent were considered “acceptable,” but only because they were designed to be used in residential buildings.