Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is a thermoplastic material made from natural substances such as salt and oil.
Developed in 1930 in Germany, PVC-U (rigid unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is obtained through the polymerisation process of vinyl chloride monomer. PVC is one of the most versatile, cheapest and most widely used plastics.
The uses of PVC are innumerable. By adding plasticising products, it can be shaped by hot moulding into the desired forms. It has good chemical resistance and moderate mechanical rigidity, which it loses as the temperature increases, resisting up to a maximum of 60°C. PVC is one of the most economically viable solutions for solving the problems encountered in the transport of corrosive industrial fluids and water’s general distribution and treatment.
PVC is generally inert to most solutions of acids, alcohols and salts, and paraffinic/aliphatic hydrocarbons but is not recommended for transporting polar organic compounds, including various types of chlorinated aromatic solvents. It can be reduced to a film or liquid with which you can coat fabrics or cover surfaces, tanks, valves, taps, tubs and artificial fibres.
PVC is highly resistant to combustion. It ignites at 399 °C and only persists under extreme conditions: if the oxygen concentration is twice that of the atmosphere or in the presence of a flame from an external source. PVC has an amorphous structure, high strength and a high elastic modulus. It has excellent electrical characteristics, especially in low voltages and low frequencies. It is used at temperatures between -10 °C and +60 °C. Up to temperatures of 60 °C, rigid PVC is stable to most dilute or concentrated acids. Rigid PVC is physiologically inert. Whether it can be used in the food industry depends solely on the type of stabilisation. It is an excellent electrical insulator and absorbs little water; it can also be welded and glued.
Protection: PVC is impermeable to liquids, gases and vapours. This property makes it particularly suitable for packaging food and medical products.
Stability: PVC is stable and inert. This is particularly important for all uses where hygiene is a priority, such as in the medical sector. For example, the European Pharmacopoeia approved flexible PVC films for blood bags, transfusion kits, and surgical gloves.
Longevity: PVC products are exceptionally durable, with a useful life of 15 to 100 years in applications such as electrical cables, pipes and window profiles.
Safety: Fire and chemical resistance and insulation properties make PVC particularly suitable for construction, cable protection and industry.
Mechanical, chemical, and electrical sectors, mainly for the construction of tanks for industrial plants, suction hoods, scrubbers, gears, penstocks for water and the chemical industry, drainage pipes and general plant engineering to purify wastewater.
Rigid PVC: normally available in round, tube, sheet and other conventional forms, used as a waterproofing covering material in the industrial construction sector.
Flexible PVC: most commonly identified in rolls of various consistencies and thermal characteristics.
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