POLYVINYL CHLORIDE- PVC
KMA SA Marketing markets a variety of PVC polymers and compounds. We also custom formulate PVC compounds for various applications and can advise customers on their PVC polymer requirements. With over 30 years experience in PVC manufacturing we are also able to advise customers on mould design and machine specifications.
What is PVC?
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC, is the third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer after polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
PVC is a thermoplastic and is produced by combing ethylene and chlorine to make ethylene dichloride which is then transformed into vinyl chloride. This is the basic building block of PVC- it is the monomer). Vinyl chloride monomers are then polymerised (linked together) to form chains of polyvinyl chloride. This produces a white powder which is known as PVC Polymer.
Unlike most plastics that contain carbon and hydrogen PVC also contains chlorine (approximately 57% by weight). As a result of the chlorine, PVC is flame retardant and makes it is self-extinguishing.
Its chemical resistance to acids, salts, bases, fats and alcohols make it popular for use in a variety of applications.
Global polyvinyl chloride use exceeds 35 million tons per year. Polyvinyl chloride global demand is forecast to increase at an average annual rate of 3.2% until 2021, with higher growth in developing countries.
PVC Polymer vs. PVC Compound
PVC Polymer in its powder form can handle long-term storage since the material is resistant to oxidation and degradation.
Once the powder/ polymer is mixed with additives and pigments it becomes a PVC compound which can be pelletised. These compounds are then moulder/extruded to create the final product- pipes, bottles, gaskets etc.
As Polyvinyl chloride is a thermoplastic it can be recycled several times (up to seven heat cycles.)
What is PVC used for?
PVC’s low cost, biological and chemical resistance and workability have resulted in it being used for a wide variety of applications.
Polyvinyl chloride comes in two basic forms: rigid (RPVC) and flexible, both are used for a variety of applications in the building, automotive, electrical, medical and consumer goods industries.
Rigid PVC is a common, strong but lightweight plastic used in various applications. It is used for the manufacturing of pipes, bottles, packaging, cards (bank etc), flooring, wall covering, tiles, musical instruments, signs, windows and doors and much more.
When plasticizers are added, PVC becomes softer and flexible. The most popular used plasticizers are known as phthalates.
Incorporating various metal stabilisers, flexible PVC is used to make calendered films, extruded profiles, injection moulded soles and footwear, extruded hoses and plastisols for manufacturing toys, tarpaulins etc. It is also used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, imitation leather, clothing, signage, inflatable products, medical equipment and more.
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