History of Polyvinyl chloride(PVC)

Release time:2013-02-28      Source:admin      Reads:

Polyvinyl chloride(PVC) is the third-most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene. It plays a very important part in our daily life, we can see PVC products easily here and there. For example, PVC pipes, electrical cable insulation, PVC labels on shoes, garments, etc.

At the very beginning, polyvinyl chloride was accidentally discovered at least twice in the 19th century. The first time was in 1835 by French chemist Henri Victor Regnault, and then in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Barmann. On both of the occasions the polymer appeared as a white solid inside flasks of vinyl chloride which had been left exposed to sunlight. Then in the early 20th century the Russian chemist Ivan Ostromislensky and Fritz Klatte of the German chemical company Griesheim-Elektron both attempted to use PVC in commercial products, but they did not find a good way in processing the rigid, sometimes brittle polymer, difficulties blocked their efforts. In the year 1926, Waldo Semon and the B.F. Goodrich Company developed a method to plasticize PVC by blending it with various additives. The result was a more flexible and more easily processed material that soon achieved widespread commercial use.

Polyvinyl chloride is produced by polymerization of the monomer vinyl chloride (VCM), as shown. Its relatively low cost, biological and chemical resistance and workability have resulted in it being used for a wide variety of applications. In construction, this material is usually used for sewerage pipes and other pipe applications, where cost or vulnerability to corrosion limit the use of metal. With the addition of impact modifiers and stabilizers, it has become a popular material for window and door frames. By adding plasticizers, it can become flexible enough to be used in cabling applications as a wire insulator, or to be used to make PVC labels. These PVC labels are very soft and can be made into various shapes and colors.

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