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What is Polyvinyl Chloride – PVC? Classification of physical properties and applications

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a commonly used material in the decorative materials industry, all information will be provided shortly!


What is Polyvinyl Chloride?

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a thermoplastic made from vinyl chloride polymerization. PVC is solid, usually white and odorless. In addition, we can also encounter pvc in the form of transparent or amber. Are known, Polyvinyl Chloride is a man-made synthetic material with a long history.

PVC has the scientific name of Polyvinyl Chloride
PVC has the scientific name of Polyvinyl Chloride

Development history of Polyvinyl Chloride

Initially, the main raw material to create Polyvinyl Chloride was Vinyl Chloride (VC) synthesized in 1835. Until the year 1872, when the VC is exposed to the sun, it accidentally produces an unidentified white powder, which is a milestone for the birth of PVC material.

The timeline extends to the year 1912, a Russian scientist actually recognized the presence of this material. Not only Russia, Germany also announced the production process of Polyvinyl Chloride at the same time. However, in the beginning, pvc material was not widely used because of its low stability and difficulty in processing.

To overcome the hard workability of pvc, Dr. Waldo Semon honed and found a method to plasticize them in 1926. Since that milestone, a series of studies on Polyvinyl Chloride have taken place, many forms of pvc have been synthesized in Germany and the United States in XNUMX. 1933. Complete PVC thermoplastic material produced in 1937 in Germany, followed by the great power America.

Polyvinyl Chloride is the most commonly used plastic today
Polyvinyl Chloride is the most commonly used plastic today

Physical properties of Polyvinyl Chloride

Polyvinyl Chloride exists in two forms as suspension and emulsion, namely:

  • Polyvinyl Chloride Suspension (PVC.S–PVC Suspension) is a granular solid with a size of about 20 - 150 microns, insoluble and suspended in water.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride Emulsion (PVC.E–PVC Emulsion) is a colloidal liquid with high fineness.

Polyvinyl Chloride is a plastic that can sink in water so its density is higher types of plastic floats in water like PE, PP, EVA. The density of Polyvinyl Chloride ranges from approx 1.25 to 1.46 g/cm3.

High density pvc and water resistant
High density pvc and water resistant

Polyvinyl Chloride is safe for human health, non-toxic. The toxicity of pvc thermoplastics often comes from overdosing of additives. Besides, pvc plastic has poor impact resistance, which can be overcome by adding more range 5 - 15% substances such as: MBS, ABS, CPE, EVA.

Chemical Properties of Polyvinyl Chloride

Polyvinyl Chloride is quite resistant to chemicals, completely unaltered in acidic and alkaline environments. On the other hand, PVC material has a dehydrochlorination reaction.

PVC is non-toxic, so it's safe for human health
PVC is non-toxic, so it's safe for human health

Hard PVC classification – characteristics and features of each type

Hard PVC Polyvinyl Chloride Powder is a composite material of Polyvinyl Chloride powder with many ingredients such as additives, heat stabilizers, lubricants and a low content of plasticizers. <5% (if any). The ingredients that make up hard pvc must be thoroughly mixed and pureed at a temperature of 160 - 180 degrees Celsius.

Nature  Unit of measure Value 
PVC density g / cm³ 1,45 – 1,50
Breaking tensile strength kg / cm² 500 – 700
Bending strength limit kg / cm² 800 – 1200 Feet
Compression strength limit kg / cm² 800 – 1600
Modulus kg / cm² 4000 – 10.000
Elongation at break % 10 – 25
Thermal conductivity cal/cm.s.℃ 3,8 - 4.10-4
Breakdown voltage kV / cm 15 – 35
Resistivity Ω.cm 1015
Coefficient of long expansion 0,00006 – 0,00007
Dielectric constant

(60 Hz, 30 )


Rigid PVC is divided into 2 types: UPVC (Polyvinyl Chloride without plasticizer) and CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride).

UPVC – Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride

UPVC (Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride) is PVC without plasticizer. Because it does not contain BPA (a type of plasticizer), UPVC is used in the medical and dental industries. In particular, the rigidity and durability of this material makes them popular in the construction industry. UPVC material saves costs as there is no maintenance or maintenance required.

UPVC is a Polyvinyl Chloride resin that does not contain plasticizers
UPVC is a Polyvinyl Chloride resin that does not contain plasticizers

It is known that UPVC is the perfect alternative to solid wood and aluminum materials. Low-cost UPVC plastic comes with high durability, the life span can be up to 40 - 80 years. This plastic is recyclable, extremely friendly to the environment. In addition to chemical resistance, anti-corrosion, anti-ultraviolet, UVPC plastic also has effective insulation properties.

Besides the outstanding advantages, UPVC has the disadvantage of not being able to withstand high temperatures. The data on the heat resistance of UPVC acting as a plumbing include:

  • Continuous discharge water temperature should not exceed 40 degrees Celsius
  • Instantaneous discharge hot water temperature does not exceed 80 degrees C
  • UPVC has poor durability when exposed to heat effects exceeding 60 degrees Celsius.
Polyvinyl Chloride is a material specialized in making water pipes
Polyvinyl Chloride is a material specialized in making water pipes

CPVC – Chlorinated PVC

The letter C stands for the word Chlorination. CPVC is a form of PVC, commonly used in the plumbing industry because it does not transfer any harmful substances to drinking water. Chlorination of PVC offers good resistance to acids, bases, salts, paraffinic hydrocarbons, halogens, alcohols, bacteria, residues.

CPVC withstands higher temperatures than normal PVC standards, so it is widely used in hot and cold water pipes, industrial liquid handling. Specifically, the temperature limit that CPVC can withstand is 93.3 degree C (200 degrees Fahrenheit). This material is also recognized as having the best flame spread resistance and high resistance to thermal corrosion.

Read more: What is PS plastic?


How is PVC polyvinyl chloride used in interior and exterior decoration materials industry?

PVC is widely used in the production and processing of interior and exterior decoration materials. The mechanical - physical - chemical properties of Polyvinyl Chloride make them carry many useful features.

Durable and highly flexible material

PVC is favored in the decorative material industry because of its high strength and ease of processing. If we add a small amount of plasticizer to the plastic, it will make the material have more flexible compressive properties. Decorative pvc materials such as cladding, molding are easy to bend when installed.

Kosmos wall panels use virgin PVC core
Kosmos wall panels use virgin PVC core

We make use of plasticizers in the PVC film industry as follows:

  • Plasticizers <5% will produce a hard PVC film
  • Plasticizers 5 - 15% will produce semi-rigid pvc film
  • Plasticizers >15% will produce soft pvc film

PVC film It is applied in the production of coating materials such as raincoats, bottle labels, awnings, packaging, etc.

Materials are safe for health and easy to clean

Primary polyvinyl chloride is absolutely safe for health. The material does not contain harmful impurities, does not emit harmful gases into the environment and is reusable. On the other hand, the pvc decorative materials with 100% water resistance come with extremely good chemical resistance, making it easy for users to clean and clean.

Kosmos pvc panels are easy to install and clean
Kosmos pvc panels are easy to install and clean

Decorative materials for electrical insulation, heat insulation and fire suppression

Decorative materials made from pvc help reduce the risk of accidents. Not only is it extremely safe for children, but also reduces damage in case of fire. Besides, all kinds of wall covering materials made of pvc have excellent heat resistance because PVC is heat-insulating and UV-resistant.

Kosmos pvc decorative materials against fire spread
Kosmos pvc decorative materials against fire spread


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a synthetic material that has existed for a very long time. PVC plastic is sturdy and durable. Moreover, this plastic has high flexibility, easy to plasticize when processing and manufacturing. PVC thermoplastic is widely used in the decorative material industry due to its many useful features such as: water resistance, heat resistance, electrical insulation, fire retardant, chemical resistance, etc.

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