Polyvinylchloride (tpPVC)

The material. PVC (vinyl) is one of the cheapest, most versatile, and, with polyethylene, the most widely used of polymers and epitomizes their multi­faceted character. In its pure form—as a thermoplastic, tpPVC—it is rigid and not very tough; its low price makes it a cost-effective engineering plas­tic where extremes of service are not encountered. Incorporating plasti­cizers creates flexible PVC, elPVC, a material with leather – or rubberlike properties and used a substitute for both. By contrast, reinforcement with glass fibers gives a material that is sufficiently stiff, strong, and tough to be used for roofs, flooring, and building panels.

Composition

General properties

Density

Price

Mechanical properties

Young’s modulus Yield strength (elastic limit) Tensile strength Compressive strength Elongation Hardness—Vickers Fatigue strength at 107 cycles Fracture toughness

Thermal properties

Glass temperature Maximum service temperature Thermal conductor or insulator? Thermal conductivity Specific heat capacity Thermal expansion coefficient

Electrical properties

Electrical conductor or insulator? Electrical resistivity Dielectric constant Dissipation factor Dielectric strength

(CH2CHCl)n

These boat fenders illustrate that PVC is tough, weather resistant, and easy to form and color.

Ecoproperties: material

Annual world production

4.9 X 107

– 5.1 X 107

tonne/yr

Reserves

*1.38 X 109

– 1.4 X 109

tonne

Embodied energy, primary production

68

– 95

MJ/kg

CO2 footprint, primary production

2.2

– 2.6

kg/kg

Water usage

*18.9

– 56.7

l/kg

Eco-indicator

260

– 280

millipoints/kg

Ecoproperties: processing

Polymer molding energy

*9.57

– 10.6

MJ/kg

Polymer molding CO2

*0.766

– 0.844

kg/kg

Polymer extrusion energy

*3.41

– 3.75

MJ/kg

Polymer extrusion CO2

*0.272

– 0.3

kg/kg

Recycling

Embodied energy, recycling

28.6

– 39.9

MJ/kg

CO2 footprint, recycling

0.924

– 1.09

kg/kg

Recycle fraction in current supply Recycle mark

0.5

3

PVC

– 1

%

Typical uses. tpPVC: pipes, fittings, profiles, road signs, cosmetic pack­aging, canoes, garden hoses, vinyl flooring, windows and cladding, vinyl records, dolls, medical tubes. elPVC: artificial leather, wire insulation, film, sheet, fabric, car upholstery.