November 8

What Does PVC Stand For?

PVC is an abbreviation word for polyvinyl chloride. This is a plastic that has many different uses. It is commonly used as PVC piping, for window frames, curtains and shower curtains.

PVC is a very versatile material which is very commonly used due to its low cost and its strength. 

Read on to find out all about PVC and how it sizes up to other plastics.

Characteristics Of PVC 

PVC is very strong and durable. It has quite a low temperature tolerance, as it begins to break down at temperatures that are over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

160 degrees is the PVC melting point. 

PVC is very well insulated, but it does not have as good insulation as other various forms of plastic. Polyethylene and polypropylene both are better insulated than PVC. To understand more about how PVC compares to other types of plastics, like CPVC, you can read about the differences between PVC and CPVC.

One great characteristic of PVC is that it is very resistant to chemicals meaning it won’t disintegrate when it comes into contact with salts, acids, fats and alcohols.

This is why it is great when used as sewage piping. PVC is produced in lots of different colors including gray, blue and white. PVC is often used as skiing equipment. For more details on how to handle this versatile material, learn how to prepare PVC piping to be cut.

History Of PVC

What Does PVC Stand For?

PVC was first introduced in 1872 by Eugen Baumann. It is one of the oldest materials that is synthetic and it has a very long history of use in industrial production in various locations. 

Pros Of PVC

There are many great properties of PVC and these include: 

  1. Density. PVC plastic is very dense when you compare it to other plastics. 
  2. Hardiness. PVC is very rigid, and durable and will stand up to a lot of pressure. 
  3. Economics. It is very cheap and very easily available so it is a very viable economic choice. 
  4. Strength. This PVC is very strong and will not break easily.

PVC is a very popular plastic and it is cemented in the world as one of the most popular plastics.

Disadvantages Of PVC

While PVC is very popular and has lots of advantages, there are some reasons why it might not be the best choice of material for you. These include: 

  • PVC has poor heat stability. This means that PVC has quite a lot of additives in it because they help to stabilize the material at higher temperatures. 
  • PVC lets off toxic fumes when it is melted or a flame is added to it.

Despite these disadvantages, PVC is a great material which is used for many different things. It is very useful in the construction industry.

If you are aware of the downsides of the material then it is much easier to navigate these problems and change your plans to make the material work.


PVC comes in two different forms and these are known as RPVC and uPVC.

RPVC is a rigid form and uPVC is flexible. PVC is usually rigid and brittle when it is in its base form. It can be used in plumbing, agriculture and sewage.

RPVC is much more amenable than uPVC.

Thermoplastic PVC

Polyvinyl Chlorine is known as thermoplastic. This is related to the way in which the plastic responds to the heat. PVC turns into a liquid when it reaches melting point.

You can melt and re-harden PVC very easily and the plastic won’t be damaged. This means that they are recyclable unlike lots of other plastics.

Thermoset plastics can only be heated once and so they can’t be recycled in the same way.

How Is PVC Made?

PVC is made up from an emulsion process. There are three different types of emulsion processes that they are made from. These include: 

  1. Suspension polymerization
  2. Emulsion polymerization
  3. Bulk polymerization

What Is PVC Used For?

PVC is used in many different ways. These include the following examples: 

  • Windows. PVC is often used on the siding and the window frames in many modern houses. This is because the window frames are cheap and durable and will last a long time. Using PVC will help to conserve energy because they are great insulators. They keep the heat in and the cold out. 
  • They are also used as wiring and cables. They are good for this because they are good at withstanding the tough conditions. They are exposed to dampness and temperatures that other materials won’t be able to withstand. 
  • They are often used as water pipes. This material is great for pipes because they hardly ever leak due to their strength and their ability to withstand corrosive stresses. However, if the PVC pipe isn’t fitted properly, it will leak. It is therefore important to install the pipes properly to conserve energy. They also have very low build-up which means that they are very efficient pipes and very high functioning.
  • It is also used in packaging because it is lightweight and very durable. It is great for packaging things like medication as it protects the medicines and prevents them from being exposed to oxygen.
  • Healthcare. PVC is great for use in medicine. It is used in IV bags and medical tubing. They are used to fill the bags with blood because they are unbreakable. 
  • Household products. PVC is used as household products such as rain coats, boots and shower curtains as the plastic is very affordable and water resistant.
  • They conserve energy. As mentioned before, PVC works to conserve energy thanks to the leak-free pipes, which work to maintain the heat and cold. These pipes also don’t corrode, resulting in less of a negative impact on the environment compared to iron pipes. Not only does this work to conserve energy, but they can reduce energy bills as they don’t need constant replacements!

Frequently Asked Questions

When Was PVC Invented?

Polyvinyl chloride was invented in 1872 by Eugen Baumann. He was a German chemist.

His idea was not patented until 1913 when someone else invented a new method of polymerizing the plastic. 

What Is PVC?

PVC is made through the reaction between carbon, ethylene and chlorine.

This creates a product that is named Vinyl Chloride Monomer. After you have this product, you put this vinyl through a process known as polymerization.

The result of polymerization is PVC. 

Is PVC Used In Medicine?

PVC has been used in healthcare and medicine for years. It is even used in surgery and medical packaging. It has been used in this way for over 100 years.

Final Thoughts 

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. This plastic is used in many different ways and it is very popular. Now you know everything there is to know about PVC!


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