When thinking about traditional building materials, concrete, wood, and even clay come quickly to mind. But what many people are starting to realize is that the list does not end there. For example, PVC foam panels are an excellent replacement for traditional materials such as plywood, but they are also becoming the preferred industry option for many applications.
PVC foam panels are made up primarily of a chemical composition known as polyvinyl chloride. These panels can be used for making furniture, as components for construction, and as high-performance displays in the advertising industry. They are lightweight, highly durable, and resistant to moisture and corrosion.
Popular Uses For PVC Foam Panels
PVC foam sheets have become a leading alternative to wood. Its main advantage for builders and manufacturers is that it can be easily made with molding and press molding. It’s also simple to customize using additives in a wide variety of home and office applications.
One can find PVC foam panels used as ceilings in cars, moving trucks, buses, trains, and other forms of transportation. Their light weight means better fuel efficiency without any loss of needed durability.
They are also a useful and popular material for manufacturing exterior siding, home interiors, garage doors, awnings, and covers. In advertising, PVC foam panels appear in interior and exterior exhibition spaces, point-of-purchase displays, signage, and more. Using PVC foam panels means taking advantage of a material known for sustainability and strength,
The Benefits of PVC Foam Panels
PVC foam panels are lighter and cheaper than plywood panels and have numerous other advantages that make them a desirable construction material. PVC foam panels are:
- Fire-resistant and self-extinguishing
- Weather and vibration resistant
- Effective at sound absorption, good sound insulators
- Excellent thermal insulators
In addition, PVC foam board is resistant to chemical abrasion and features low water absorption. This makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications such as signage. It can stand up to all sorts of weather, be transported easily due to its light weight, and is comfortably affordable.
PVC Foam Panel vs. Wood
The material most often replaced by PVC foam panels is wood. Here are some of the most critical points to consider when comparing the two.
PVC foam panels are considerably lighter than wood but do not suffer in comparison to fire, weather, water, and chemical resistance. In addition, its low weight makes it easier to transport and install.
While wood comes out ahead with strength, PVC foam panels are highly durable and are built to last. While untreated wood may need to be replaced regularly due to water damage and rot, PVC foam board will last much longer without losing structural integrity.
The cost difference between PVC foam panels and wood is not particularly notable. However, PVC foam panels will need less maintenance compared to wood, can be preformed into custom sizes, and are easily installed—all saving on labor costs and time.
Customized PVC foam panels can be prefabricated on demand. Straight panels can also be cut and drilled like wood without any special tools. However, it can take more effort to shape wood into the form it needs to be.
Limitations of PVC Foam Panels
Although PVC foam provides numerous benefits, it's important to consider the limitations of this material. Compared to wood there are a few characteristics to keep in mind that make it less beneficial for certain applications. For example, PVC foam:
- Can appear artificial
- It cannot be stained or painted
- Has uniform texturing
- It can be slippery when wet
- Subject to fading over time
Despite these factors, PVC foam still remains a top choice for manufacturers and builders.
PVC Foam Plastic at Piedmont Plastics
Piedmont Plastics offers a wide variety of performance plastic materials, including PVC foam panels. Contact our material expert teams for more information on how PVC foam panels can help your manufacturing or construction project.