PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is found in toys, wraps, packaging, blood bags and water pipes, PVC is utilized in almost every industry.

PVC is found in toys, wraps, packaging, blood bags and water pipes, PVC is utilized in almost every industry. Water pipes in municipalities are often made out of Polyvinyl Chloride, because it is easy to install and odorless. Its base materials are Chloride salts and Petroleum based ethylene. Chlorides are extracted from the seawater through electrolysis and ethylene is harvested through the cracking of petroleum.

PVC comes in rigid (sometimes abbreviated as RPVC) and flexible forms. Rigid PVC is used in construction for pipe, doors and windows. It is also used in making plastic bottles, packaging, and bank or membership cards. Adding plasticizers makes PVC softer and more flexible. It is used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, flooring, signage, phonograph records, inflatable products, and in rubber substitutes. With cotton or linen, it is used in the production of canvas.

Polyvinyl chloride is a white, brittle solid. It is insoluble in all solvents but swells in the monomer and some chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents.

AKA “The Killer”

HISTORY

PVC was synthesized in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Baumann after extended investigation and experimentation. The polymer appeared as a white solid inside a flask of vinyl chloride that had been left on a shelf sheltered from sunlight for four weeks. About half of the world’s PVC production capacity is in China, despite the closure of many Chinese PVC plants due to issues complying with environmental regulations and poor capacities of scale. The largest single producer of PVC as of 2022 is Shin-Etsu Chemical of Japan, with a global share of around 30%.

 

SAFETY

PVC is considered to be one of the most harmful types of plastic for both human and environmental health. PVC is made soft and pliable using a group of chemicals called phthalates. These chemicals are an endocrine disruptor, they can cause developmental issues and are linked to liver, kidney and lung damage, reproductive issues and cancer. When used properly, PVC is safe for public usage.

 

Credits: Polyvinyl chloride – Wikipedia  and Get to Know the 7 Types of Plastic- Plastics 101 | by The Physics Society | Medium

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