Polyvinyl chloride is among the most commonly used plastic materials in the modern world.
Quick links to PVC Manufacturers Information
- Shower Curtains
- Car Interiors
- Ceiling Tiles
- Blood Bags
- Credit Cards
- Phonograph Records
- Rain Gutters
Industries Using PVC
Characteristics of PVC
Production of this thermoplastic requires much less petroleum than its polymer counterparts, such as polystyrene, polyethylene, and polycarbonate, allowing for significant savings. However, despite its wide use, there is a growing concern for the impact polyvinyl chloride has on the environment and human health as it contains highly toxic elements that may leech into the ground or atmosphere. Although it is not typically recycled, thermal depolymerization and PVC recovery techniques are being developed to diminish the harmful effects of PVC refuse. Still, alternatives such as wood, paper, copper, steel clay, and chlorine-free plastics are sought until a more environmentally friendly solution to the PVC problem is developed.
Production of PVC
While the chlorine in PVC is essentially the reason for safety concerns regarding the material, it is also responsible for many of the benefits. Polyvinyl chloride is produced through vinyl chloride monomers (VCM) polymerization. 57% of the mass of each polymer is chlorine. Although mass, emulsion/dispersion, and solution methods may all be utilized to produce this material, suspension polymerization is preferred.
- VCM and water are introduced into a reactor containing an initiator.
- Additives such as heat stabilizers, lubricants, fillers, and plasticizers are now introduced.
- These determine the properties of the particular type of PVC being produced.
- The reaction vessel continually mixes the solution keeping all particles suspended.
- This ensures that the resulting PVC resin has a uniform particle size.
- After this processing is complete, the resin is dried and sieved.
PVC manufacturers offer this material in several forms, typically in granulated powders, pellets, or pre-forms. As with most other plastics, extrusion, injection molding, stamping and casting are used to create stock shapes that may later be reworked into a final product or be used as such. These include rods, billets, sheets, and films. It is important to consider the dimensions, quantity, and physical properties of PVC stock form or product to ensure compatibility with the intended use.