In by Jackie Dunn

A polymer formed by the polymerization of vinyl chloride monomer (sometimes called vinyl) and widely used in residential and commercial construction because of its versatility, high strength and low cost.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
PVC (abbreviation)
polyvinyl chloride
PVC (Wikipedia)

Polyvinyl chloride
Repeating unit of PVC polymer chain.
Space-filling model of a part of a PVC chain
Pure Polyvinyl Chloride powder.jpg
IUPAC name
Other names
Abbreviations PVC
  • none
ECHA InfoCard 100.120.191
MeSH Polyvinyl+Chloride
−10.71×10−6 (SI, 22 °C)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references
Mechanical properties
Elongation at break 20–40%
Notch test 2–5 kJ/m2
Glass Transition Temperature 82 °C (180 °F)
Melting point 100 °C (212 °F) to 260 °C (500 °F)
Effective heat of combustion 17.95 MJ/kg
Specific heat (c) 0.9 kJ/(kg·K)
Water absorption (ASTM) 0.04–0.4
Dielectric Breakdown Voltage 40 MV/m

Polyvinyl chloride (/ˌpɒlivnəl ˈklɔːrd/;colloquial: polyvinyl, vinyl; abbreviated: PVC) is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene.

PVC comes in two basic forms: rigid (sometimes abbreviated as RPVC) and flexible. The rigid form of PVC is used in construction for pipe and in profile applications such as doors and windows. It is also used in making bottles, non-food packaging, and cards (such as bank or membership cards). It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this form, it is also used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, imitation leather, flooring, signage, phonograph records, inflatable products, and many applications where it replaces rubber. With cotton or linen, it is used to make canvas.

Pure polyvinyl chloride is a white, brittle solid. It is insoluble in alcohol but slightly soluble in tetrahydrofuran.

« Back to Glossary Index