Polyvinyl chloride



Acronym and details:  PVC

Group:   thermoplastic

Developed:   known from 1870 but suitable plasticisers not discovered until 1933; wide use from 1940s, ongoing

Trade names: 

Manufacturing process:   all thermoplastic processes

Cost:   low

Colour:   any

Transparency:   transparent to opaque

Rigidity:   basically rigid but made soft with the use of plasticisers

Feel:   varies, can be sticky

Smell:   none

Other:   in flexible form scratches and indents with fingernail

Typical uses:   shiny leather-like fabric; fashion belts; flexible toys; inflatable furniture; cables e.g. computers and other electrical items; credit cards; blood bags; flooring; in unplasticised form: guttering, window frames, flooring; as co-polymer LP gramophone records from 1952

Degradation:   yellowing and darkening; migration of additives to the surface creating either a bloom or sticky surface, which may lead to embrittlement.