The plastic foam that’s better for the environment
The word ‘plastic’ and the term ‘environmentally-friendly’ don’t belong in the same sentence. Polyurethane, however, is one plastic material that, according to Kwikspace Production Executive Johan Liebenberg, delivers some noteworthy benefits in the fight against climate change.
“Reducing energy consumption is the most immediate and cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure security of energy supply. Polyurethane has properties that help reduce energy consumption, and can therefore help fight climate change,” says Liebenberg.
- Is an effective insulator that increases the energy efficiency of buildings, reducing the need for heating and cooling, lowering the carbon footprint of the buildings.
- Is used as a lightweight alternative to other materials to create more energy-efficient vehicles that use less fuel.
- Is already being used in innovative ways. Its scrap is being used to cushion carpets as the underlay. Manufacturers are using a significant portion of recycled polyurethane for new products in the automotive industry.
- Does not contain chemicals that harm the endocrine or hormone systems of humans and animals.
- Does not alter the pH levels of soil or water
Kwikspace uses polyurethane to manufacture its prefabricated buildings. A specialised polyurethane foam (40 mm thick) is injected inside the Chromadeck steel Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) that make up the walls and ceilings of their prefabricated units. Aside from improving the carbon footprint of these buildings, the foam lends superior strength, flexibility, safety and longevity to each structure.
The use of this panel technology in the manufacture of Kwikspace’s mobile buildings and Kwik Kits enables:
- Faster construction (less labour demand & time spent on site)
- Easier installation
- Reduced on-site waste
- Reduced transport requirements
- Ability to customise (modular design)
- Flexible design
- Longer-lasting buildings, due to the durability of polyurethane
- Moisture resistance
- Less maintenance, as panels are manufactured using Chromadeck steel as the outer skin.