PVC – polyvinylchloride – is a versatile and reliable material proven over the years. It was developed in the 1930s as one of the first synthetic materials. PVC is usually classified into softened, often called PVC-P (Plasticised PVC) and hard PVC-U (Unplasticised PVC). Polyvinylchloride ranks among the materials that can be recycled and reprocessed easily.
PVC-P is especially suitable for applications where elasticity and flexibility are important. The main areas where plasticised PVC is used include:
- Building industry – insulation foils, e.g. pool insulation, ground and roof insulation
- Floor coverings of various types in rolls and tiles
- Profiles of various shapes for many applications
- Electrical industry – most frequently cable sheathing
- Health care –blood pouches, medical hoses and tubes
- Other industries – promotional items, billboards, packages, raincoats, inflatable toys, tablecloths
PVC-P’s properties can be modified with respect for a specific application. Where appearance is important, a specific colour shade, multicoloured print or pattern created on the product surface (imitation wood or leather) are very common requirements. In technical applications, long service life and durability are required most frequently. Using the right additives, it is possible to achieve a service life of 10 or 15 years or even longer.
PVC-U features higher strength, rigidity and hardness. It is used mostly in products for technical applications where its physical and mechanical properties are useful together with its long service life.
Typical examples of applications include:
- Pipes for various liquids (drinking water, sewer systems)
- Profiles – mainly for windows, but also smaller technical profiles for the automotive or electrical industry
- Moulded products
- Extruded products