What is PVC plastic? What is PVC used for?

As can be seen, PVC items appear everywhere around you. Underground water pipes, fake wood floors under your feet, clothes you wear or ceiling fan blades are also made from PVC. This is the second most used synthetic plastic in the world (after PE), widely used to produce hard plastic utensils.


What is PVC plastic? What are the characteristics of PVC?


PVC plastic full name Polyvinyl Chloride was created the earliest in the history of plastics from the artificial synthesis of vinyl chloride when exposed to the sun.


In fact, there are several types of PVC as follows:


You are viewing: What is PVC?



  • Flexible PVC or PVC-P (Density: 1.1-1.35 g/cm 3): Flexible PVC is formed by adding compatible plasticizers to PVC that reduce crystallinity. These plasticizers make PVC more flexible and transparent.

  • Hard PVC or PVC-U or uPVC (Density: 1.3-1.45 g/cm 3): This is a hard plastic with high impact resistance, water resistance, chemical resistance and corrosion resistance.

  • Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride or Perchlorovinyl: It is prepared by chlorinating PVC resin. The high chlorine content produces high strength, chemical stability and good fire resistance.

  • Molecular Orientation of PVC or PVC-O: It is made by rearranging the amorphous structure of PVC-U into a layered structure. This type of PVC is hard and has good bearing capacity.

  • Modified PVC or PVC-M: This is PVC formed by adding modifiers, increasing stiffness and strength.



Other commonly used plastics in label printing:



  • What is PP plastic?

  • What is PE plastic?



How is PVC made?


Back nearly 200 years ago, vinylchloride (VC) - the main ingredient that creates PVC was successfully synthesized by Henri Regnault in 1835. After 37 years, PVC was found by chance when Baumann exposed vinylchloride in a test tube under sunlight. It was not until 40 years later that PVC was recognized by Iwan Ostromislensky (Russia) and in the same year the PVC production process was announced by Fritz Klatte (Germany).


However, at this time, people have not found a way to plasticize PVC, so it is quite hard and difficult to apply. It was not until 1937 that it was industrially produced and became the most used synthetic plastic in the world until it was overtaken by PE.


Currently, Polyvinyl Chloride is made from one of three emulsion processes:



  • Stop Coincidence

  • Emulsion polymerization

  • Massive coincidence


What are the advantages of PVC plastic?


PVC is a very versatile and cost effective material. Its key attributes and benefits include:


Reliability: PVC is resistant to extreme weather conditions, and is resistant to corrosion, shock and abrasion. Therefore, you can see it used to produce a lot of outdoor items. Research by Japan PVC Pipe and Fittings Association shows that PVC underground water pipes have almost no damage after 35 years of use.


Fire resistance: PVC contains 57% chlorine derived from common salt, when burned its chlorine content extinguishes the flame. At the same time, the burning temperature of PVC is as high as 455°C, the temperature of PVC released when burning is much lower than that released by other plastics such as PE and PP, so it is less likely to spread fire to other materials.


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Insulation: PVC can withstand large electric intensity without breaking structure, combined with fire resistance, it becomes an ideal material for manufacturing communication cables, insulating tapes, civil electrical cables, switch boxes and wire sheath.


Mechanical properties: PVC under normal conditions is hard, brittle, has good bearing capacity, is resistant to abrasion, light and supple.


Chemical resistance: Although PVC dissolves or swells in aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, and cyclic ethers, it is difficult to dissolve in other organic chemicals. PVC is resistant to most inorganic chemicals. Therefore, it is used as a gas exhaust pipe or ducts and pipes of all kinds, including medical applications..


Is PVC plastic safe?


Before 1970, PVC was widely used because of its ease of preparation, low cost and high strength. However, in 1970, it was discovered in PVC that vinyl chloride - commonly known as VCM has the potential to cause cancer. Since then, it has been more limited in use, especially for food packaging because of concerns about human health.


Some PVC plastic applications


Using PVC in printing labels


Decal of PVC labels
Decal of PVC labels

PVC stamps is a decal made of PVC material with waterproof properties, toughness (tear not tear), longevity of stamps and durable ink over the years, so it should be used to print barcode labels (S/N stamps, labels) Imei for machinery and equipment), printing stamps for jewelry, printing stamps for frozen seafood or for use in outdoor environments (sunshine, rain), etc. In particular, PVC stamps bring high aesthetics to stamp samples. Therefore, it is also used for high-end products.



If you are interested in the application of PVC in printing, you can find out more details in Son Nguyen's Plastic Stamp Printing Service.



The cost of printing plastic labels due to convergence of many advantages, durability, so the cost is quite high. In case you want to print cheap labels, the units should refer to the option of printing paper stamps.


Using PVC in the production of water pipes


Plastic pipes made from PVC
Plastic pipes made from PVC

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Vinyl is very flexible, normally it is quite hard, strong, good bearing but if some additives are added during the manufacturing process, it will be more flexible and malleable. At the same time with chemical resistance, corrosion resistance, ... it is used to produce many different types of water pipes.


Using PVC in the production of cladding in construction


PVC Roofing
PVC Roofing

Because of its resistance to moisture and abrasion, PVC is used for window coverings, roofing, fencing, flooring and wall cladding. Vinyl does not corrode like some building materials, does not require frequent paintwork, and can be cleaned easily with common mild detergents.


Using PVC in the production of cables


Plastic Cables
Plastic Cables

PVC can withstand extreme weather conditions such as temperature and humidity changes, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, toughness, good strength, so it is used in electrical wiring and cabling. .


Using PVC in the production of coatings and films


PVC coated tarpaulins
PVC coated tarpaulins

PVC is quite stiff, but adding the right plasticizers will yield the desired ductility. It is used for thin films such as tarpaulins, raincoats, water bottle labels or thinner product packaging.


Because PVC is easy to prepare, cheap and convenient, it is widely used for everyday plastic objects. Although it is recommended in PVC that it contains carcinogens and when burned, it produces toxic chlorine gas, causing environmental pollution, but many people still choose to use it because it is cheap. Therefore, if you use plastic, limit contact with children (children often suck) and avoid burning plastic.


Last Updated: 11/17/2021


Reference: Painting


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