Nowadays, no one is surprised by the synthetic materials that are used to decorate the interior of homes. New and new varieties are constantly appearing. Polystyrene and polyurethane have proven to be very good in this regard.
A few years ago, the Belgian company Orac Decor offered its own version of a composite material called Duropolymer. What is this material? To answer this question, it is necessary to examine in detail the task that Belgian engineers had to solve.
Developers of polymers for room decoration have tried to create the most durable and durable material. To achieve their goal, they press polystyrene in a specific way so that it reaches a density of 350-420 kg / m3. In this state, polystyrene acquires extremely high wear resistance and very high mechanical properties. Subsequently, they also created a lighter version of the material with a density of about 250 kg / m3. Charcoal is added as an additional ingredient.
Duropolymer is chemically neutral and does not react with most household compounds. The charcoal contained in the polymer is more environmentally friendly, but instead absorbs odors from the air. To increase the durability of the material, it should be painted after installation. Virtually any type of paint can be used for this purpose. The surface of the material does not crack even after many years of operation and periodic mechanical stress.
Duropolymer products are ideal for creating classic laconic spaces without unnecessary decorations. The smooth profiles suitable for the design of clean lines allow the design of a functional interior, very suitable for offices. An excellent feature of duropolymer products is the lack of shrinkage, which saves valuable time for aging the material.
Comparison of duropolymer with other materials
Cornices, friezes, rosettes and other decorative elements can be made of expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) or polyurethane and duropolymer (polystyrene). Of course, each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages. Which to choose between duropolymer and polyurethane? Which is better material?
Styrofoam, as the most famous material has a very good price, a wide range of decorative elements and excellent appearance. Styrofoam parts have very low weights and are extremely easy to install on walls and ceilings. However, the disadvantages of this material are significant:
- Impossibility to use in the interior together with plaster or plastics. Next to other materials, polystyrene "loses" its appearance.
- More can be desired about the strength and elasticity of the material. Due to their low elasticity, the connections between the elements do not always look good.
- Limited possibility for additional processing of the elements of expanded polystyrene with paint. They do not withstand aggressive influences and need special care.
Polyurethane, at its much higher price, is practically devoid of these disadvantages. The installation of the elements is characterized by great speed and speed. The appearance of polyurethane also differs from that of gypsum, but not so much as to exclude their comparison and sharing. In addition, this material has additional advantages:
- poorly susceptible to destruction;
- good mechanical properties;
- does not absorb odors;
- easy to wash with water and does not require additional care;
- is protected from the development of mold and mildew;
- does not emit any volatile substances.
All these properties apply in the same way to the other polymer, and only due to its higher density, it has a higher weight than polyurethane. Products made of it have greater durability, so they can be installed parallel to furniture and in hallways - in places where decorative elements can be easily damaged. The excellent moisture resistance of the material allows the duropolymer to be used in bathrooms and showers. Resistance to the formation of mold and mildew, as well as the absence of odor are very useful in contact of the material with moist air.
In general, the decorative elements of duropolymer in the interior have three advantages over polyurethane:
- service life (practically unlimited);
- Possibility to paint the surface of the part.
Choice of material for interior decoration
Classic wooden or plaster decorative elements are disproportionately expensive. Wood, in addition to being used for decoration mainly in wooden houses, it must also undergo additional processing (painting; varnishing) to protect it. Gypsum is a fragile and heavy material and its installation can be entrusted only to professionals. The value of installation activities often approaches the value of the decorative elements themselves.
Synthetic materials become a real way out, especially given the easy installation of decorative elements. Duropolymer, as mentioned above, has the greatest durability and strength, which is why it is a good substitute for polyurethane in places where there is a constant mechanical impact on the elements of the decor.
Duropolymer decors are not much heavier than polyurethane ones, while their installation is somewhat simpler. Thus, no additional costs are generated during their installation. The art of imitating the texture of gypsum has reached very good levels and in practice polyurethane decors are no different from much more expensive gypsum ones.
Unfortunately, decorative elements can be made of low-quality raw materials or with violations of production technology. For this reason, it is very important to take a responsible approach when choosing a manufacturer and supplier of decorative elements. This also ensures that the purchased material is not dangerous to the health of the occupants of the decorated premises.
It is necessary to remember that the elements made of duropolymer do not have an odor. The pungent chemical odor is inherent in imitation products made from illicit materials. Such decorations not only "smell" at home, but is also extremely harmful to the health of those in the premises.