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What is PVC?

PVC:Polyvinyl chloride,(IUPAC Polychloroethene) commonly abbreviated PVC, is a widely used thermoplastic polymer. In terms of revenue generated, it is one of the most valuable products of the chemical industry. Globally, over 50% of PVC manufactured is used in construction. As a building material, PVC is cheap, durable, and easy to assemble. In recent years, PVC has been replacing traditional building materials such as wood, concrete and clay in many areas. Despite claims that PVC production negatively affects the natural environment and human health, it is still widely used.

 

There are many uses for PVC. As a hard plastic, it is used as vinyl siding, magnetic stripe cards, window profiles, gramophone records (which is the source of the term vinyl records), pipe, plumbing and conduit fixtures. The material is often used in Plastic Pressure Pipe Systems for pipelines in the water and sewer industries because of its inexpensive nature and flexibility. PVC pipe plumbing is typically white, as opposed to ABS, which is commonly available in grey as well as white.

 

It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this form, it is used in clothing and upholstery, and to make flexible hoses and tubing, flooring, to roofing membranes, and electrical cable insulation.

Pipes


Polyvinyl chloride is also widely used for producing pipes. In the water distribution market it accounts for 66 percent of the market in the US, and in sanitary sewer pipe applications, it accounts for 75 percent. Its light weight, high strength, and low reactivity make it particularly well-suited to this purpose. In addition, PVC pipes can be fused together using various solvent cements, creating permanant joints that are virtually impervious to leakage. Despite PVC's many advantages, in cases where very high strength or ease of disassembly is necessary, metal pipes are still preferred.


Recycling

 

The symbol, or 'SPI code', for polyvinyl chloride developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry so that items can be labeled for easy recycling is: 

 

 

The Unicode character for this symbol is U+2675

 

Post-consumer PVC is not typically recycled due to the prohibitive cost of regrinding and recompounding the resin compared to the cost of virgin (unrecycled) resin.

 

Some PVC manufacturers have placed vinyl recycling programs into action, recycling both manufacturing waste back into their products, as well as post consumer PVC construction materials to reduce the load on landfills.

 

The thermal depolymerization process can safely and efficiently convert PVC into fuel and minerals, according to the company that developed it. It is not yet in widespread use.

 

A new process of PVC Recycling is being developed in Europe and Japan called Texiloop. This process consists of recovering PVC plastic from composite materials through dissolution and precipitation. It strives to be a closed loop system, recycling its key solvent and hopefully making PVC a future technical nutrient.

Date:Aug 07, 2010 Click:/
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