Rigid PVC Building Panels Affordable Homes Mexico

- January 11, 2018 -

In Mexico, about 15 percent of the population lives in shelters made with scavenged wooden or cardboard walls. These materials and resulting living spaces are often unhealthy, seen as contributing to digestive and respiratory diseases in children and the elderly.

Dow's customer Repshel wanted a solution for healthier, safer, more sustainable low-income housing. They focused on a solution for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) installers working with on limited budgets, while meeting requirements of the Mexican government.

Rigid PVC Addresses a Tough Challenge

Repshel's innovative new housing system introduces rigid PVC building panels reinforced with an impact modifier and titanium dioxide, for mounting onto a concrete floor or metal structure.

The system required a cost-effective, filled rigid PVC compound with the required impact resistance and opacity for 30-year sun exposure and weathering life. Dow Elvaloy® impact modifier was a key element in the solution, helping reduce polymer compounding costs while strengthening the panels for trouble-free DIY installation and long service life.

The system was validated by the Mexican government through third party certifications. It was first demonstrated in the community of Betania, where a low-income housing unit was built within three days and immediately occupied by a family. The local community now enjoys a new dwelling that's cleaner and safer inside, with more sunlight and lower maintenance costs for the occupants.

More than 5000 similar units now have been built and occupied, supporting low-income families in various Mexican states. Additional projects are underway in various countries throughout Central and South America.

Affordable Compounding of Rigid PVC

Dow Elvaloy® resin modifiers can have a major impact on the affordability of toughened rigid PVC compounds used in residential or commercial building materials.

Using Elvaloy® widens the processing window and lowers the viscosity of rigid PVC compounds without increasing fusion time. This enables users to increase extruder line speed and improve dimensional quality of PVC extruded profiles.