Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Definition - What does Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) mean?

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl as it is commonly referred to, is a type of plastic. PVC belongs to the thermoplastic group. PVC is produced by taking vinyl chloride monomers and bringing them through the polymerization process.

PVC was discovered in the 19th century and has remained one of the most popular plastics in use.

Corrosionpedia explains Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride is a thermoplastic, which means that it will soften and begin to liquefy as it is heated to its melting point. This is a useful characteristic because it allows the PVC to be formed in molds. PVC can be reheated many times without adversely affecting its properties, thus making it easily recyclable and repurposable.

PVC is one of the most widely employed plastics and is used for pipes, floors, structures, coatings, cables and many other applications. It is popular because it has excellent mechanical properties, is readily recyclable, is flame retardant and uses less fossil fuel than many other types of plastic.

PVC is a special type of plastic because its mechanical properties can be altered with relative ease. This is done through the addition of other compounds and elements. PVC can be made flexible, stiff, elastic or ductile. It can be made to withstand impacts or hold heavy static loads. PVC can even be colored simply by mixing it with additives.

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