Polyvinylchloride is an amorphous polymer with a very broad range of
applications. Rigid PVC doesn’t contain plasticisers but often contains
mineral fillers such as talc and calcium carbonate, and is used in large
quantities in the building sector in water and sewer pipes, window
frames and electricity pipes.
When plasticisers are added to PVC a strong and rubbery material is
obtained, known as soft or plasticized PVC. It is used a lot in the medical
sector because of the chemical resistance, biocompatibility and good
sterilisability, for example in containers and tubes for blood and
intravenous solutions. PVC has an inherently low flammability.
Lead containing stabilisers in PVC are being replaced by environmentally
Due to the discussion about the safety of some
plasticisers a lot of research is done on alternatives.
Density: ca. 1.1 - 1.5 g/cm3, depending on fillers and plasticisers.
Mechanical properties: Rigid PVC is a high-Young's Modulus construction material.
Soft PVC, such as the material coin, has rubber-like properties.
Thermal properties: Tg rigid PVC = 81 °C. Soft PVC has a Tg far below room
temperature due to the plasticiser.
Chemical resistance: Good resistance to UV radiation and sterilisation.
Both rigid and soft PVC can be colourless and transparent with a shiny
surface. PVC can be easily coloured.
Both rigid and soft PVC can be processed as a thermoplastic. Rigid PVC
is mainly extruded into sheets, tubes and profiles, but it can also be
injection moulded. Soft PVC can also be extruded (films) and injection
moulded. PVC can easily be welded and glued.
- Rigid PVC: Pipes, pipe connectors, profiles, window frames,
electricity pipes, gutters, wall covering.
- Soft PVC:
Medical: containers and tubing for blood and intravenous solutions,
Consumer: toys, inflatable products, transparent foils in tents or
shower curtains, garden hoses, rubber boots, vinyl flooring.
Electronics: cable jacket and cable/connector overmouldings.
Automobile industry: interior parts (dashboard, door panels),
protective strips, window sealing profiles, cable isolation.
|Minimum service temperature||-20||°C|
|Maximum service temperature||42||°C|
|Dielectric loss factor||0.1|