Polyvinyl chloride also known as polyvinyl or vinyl,commonly abbreviated PVC, is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene.
PVC comes in two basic forms: rigid (sometimes abbreviated as RPVC) and flexible. The rigid form of PVC is used in construction for pipe and in profile applications such as doors and windows. It is also used in making bottles, non-food packaging, and cards (such as bank or membership cards). It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this form, it is also used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, imitation leather, signage, phonograph records, inflatable products, and many applications where it replaces rubber.
Characteristics of PVC
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a plastic that can be manufactured in different colors, rigidity or flexibility and is utilized in products across a range of industries, including automotive, building, electrical, electronic, medical and packaging products. Its methods and materials used in manufacture grant the characteristics making it a popular and practical choice for use in a wide variety of applications.
PVC’s Physical Properties
PVC, PE, PP and PS are general purpose plastics. The features of the particular plastic are determined by its chemical composition and type of molecular structure (molecular formation: crystalline/amorphous structure)
PVC has an amorphous structure with polar chlorine atoms in the molecular structure. Having chlorine atoms and the amorphous molecular structure are inseparably related. Although plastics seem very similar in the context of daily use, PVC has completely different features in terms of performance and functions compared with olefin plastics which have only carbon and hydrogen atoms in their molecular structures.
Chemical stability is a common feature among substances containing halogens such as chlorine and fluorine. This applies to PVC resins, which furthermore possess fire retarding properties, durability, and oil/chemical resistance.