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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Polyvinyl chloride, (IUPAC Polychloroethene) commonly abbreviated PVC, is a widely used thermoplastic polymer.
  • Vinyl chloride is a colourless gas with a characteristic mild, sweet odour. A toxic and hazardous material, vinyl chloride has been classified as a group A, human carcinogen.
  • PVC is a thermoplastic material. Thermoplastic materials are those that can be melted again and again.
  • PVC is strong, lightweight, durable and versatile.

Manufacturing Process

  • Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is used almost exclusively in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacture.
  • The basic raw materials for PVC are derived from salt and oil.
  • Polyvinyl chloride is produced by polymerization of the monomer vinyl chloride.
  • The chemical process for making PVC involves three steps: first, production of the monomer, vinyl chloride; then the linking of these monomer units in a polymerisation process; and finally the blending of the polymer with additives.
  • There are four polymerization routes for the manufacture of PVC. They are as follows : Suspension Polymerization, Emulsion Polymerization, Bulk or Mass Polymerization, Solution Polymerization.

Uses

  • PVC is commonly used as the insulation on electric wires; the plastic used for this purpose needs to be plasticized.
  • Polyvinyl chloride is also widely used for producing pipes.
  • Nowadays, PVC is commonly used in the construction sector, for example in window frames and shutters, pipe cabling and coating, etc..
  • It can be used for flooring, windows and door frames and shutters, water and waste pipes, electrical applications such as cable and wire insulation materials, architectural glazing systems, wallpaper, etc.
  • PVC has been widely used for surgery, pharmaceuticals, drug delivery and medical packaging.
  • Worldwide PVC is the leading raw material for window frames when it comes down to the fact of comparing weather resistance, mechanical properties and price.

Market

  • PVC itself is highly dependent on the construction market, which reflects the ups and downs of the world economies.
  • The global VCM market has been growing at nearly 4%/year. However, growth rates in the developed world have been slipping as these markets mature while stronger demand growth has been seen in Asia, in particular China and India.
  • It is estimated that the present consumption of PVC pipes is approximately 800,000 tons per annum in India.
  • In line with Asia-Pacific GDP growth, demand growth for PVC in 2005 is estimated at 7%, representing an increase from approximately 13 million tons in 2004 to almost 14 million tons in 2005.
  • Existing and projected demand for high-quality PVC is still expected to be supplied by ethylene-based manufacturers.

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