The Many Uses of Corrugated Plastic Sheets
Corrugated plastic sheet is a plastic product made of two flat sheets of plastic with a fluted layer in between. This product is similar to corrugated cardboard but is made of plastic to withstand impact, water exposure, and sun exposure. It’s high performing and low in cost, which makes it ideal for many applications. This versatile material is used in everything from buildings to packaging. Its flexibility, combined with its impact resistance, means it is well-suited for these applications.
What Is Corrugated Plastic Sheet Made From?
Corrugated plastic sheet is usually made from either polypropylene, polyethylene, or polycarbonate. These thermoplastics are durable and easy to manufacture through extrusion, which makes them the best choice for this application.
The neutral pH helps it resist chemical corrosion for corrugated plastic made from polypropylene. It can also accept additives that make it UV and fire-resistant if desired. The poor impact resistance and high brittleness can be a drawback for corrugated plastic made from polycarbonate, but it can work well for applications where this isn’t a major issue. In addition to these two materials, corrugated plastic is sometimes made from PVC and PETG.
Most corrugated plastic sheet is made through extrusion regardless of the material chosen. A liquid plastic is pumped through a die to create the corrugated design. The final plastic can be up to 25 mm thick, depending on which die the manufacturer uses.
Common Uses of Corrugated Plastic Sheet
Corrugated plastic sheet has a wide range of uses. These include:
- Building – Because corrugated plastic is stronger than glass and lighter than plywood, it can be used in applications like roofing and shutters. The corrugated design creates a core with air inside, making it a good insulator.
- Temporary Shelters – The lightweight, affordable nature of corrugated plastic sheet works well when constructing temporary shelters after a natural disaster. It is easy to transport, set up, and tear down, and its waterproof nature keeps the weather out.
- Pet Products – Pet enclosures can be made from corrugated plastic. Because it doesn’t absorb moisture, accidents and messes aren’t a problem.
- Packaging – The packaging industry benefits from the flexible, impact-resistant design of corrugated plastic sheet, and it can be made into components that protect items while being shipped or displayed for purchase.
- Signs – The many colors available in corrugated plastic make it work well for signage, especially temporary yard signs or billboards. It is also easy to print on, adding to its benefits as a sign plastic.
- Hobbies – Models that need to be lightweight, such as model airplanes, may be made from corrugated plastic.
Benefits of Corrugated Plastic Sheet for Packaging and Signage
While corrugated plastic has several usages, it is in packaging and signage where its benefits stand out. Some of these benefits include:
- Multiple Colors – Both packaging and signage can benefit from this plastic’s bold, bright colors.
- Printable – The surface of corrugated plastic sheet is easy to print on without the need for specialized printing equipment.
- Washable – Easily wash this material with mild soap and water.
- Weather and Waterproof – Corrugated plastic resists fading and damage from rain, wind, and hale. It holds its shape even when it is wet.
- Easily Customized – This material can be cut to the desired size, folded, shaped, stapled, drilled, and more. This customization makes it quite versatile, making it the go-to product for signage and packaging.
Comparing the Properties of Corrugated Plastic Sheet to Other Materials
Corrugated plastic sheet is often used in applications where traditional polycarbonate sheeting can also work. Corrugated plastic sheet is less durable than straight polycarbonate, especially regarding impact resistance. However, it is more lightweight than polycarbonate and more affordable. Thus, it is the material of choice for applications like temporary signage, buildings, and packaging, while polycarbonate is ideal for window glazing, and guards for machinery.
Another difference between corrugated plastic sheet and other materials is their insulating properties. The corrugated plastic sheet's layered design traps air between the flat layers. This helps provide a barrier against heat transmission. For this reason, it’s a common choice for temporary shelter creation.
If you want to purchase a corrugated plastic sheet or have questions about this product, contact the Piedmont Plastics team for help. We can assist with choosing the right thickness and also cut your plastic sheet to size to fit your needs.