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January 07, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About PVC Roll

PVC Roll is made from PVC which is the short name given to Polyvinyl Chloride. PVC is one of the most widely used materials in the world, and it has been around the longest, having been invented in 1872 - although it wasn't used on a commercial scale until the 1920s when it was mass produced by the B.F. Goodrich Company. It might surprise you to learn that a lot of the other plastics that we use today were not even produced until at least the 1940s. 

Types of PVC

There are two general forms of PVC - a rigid polymer (which is known as RPVC or uPVC) and a more flexible one (which we use for our strip curtains). Flexible PVC is better for strip curtains as it contains plasticiser which makes it softer and therefore easier to bend than uPVC. It also has other users such as insulation on electrical wires, and for flooring in areas where a sterile environment is a priority (such as homes, hospitals and schools). Rigid PVC tends to be used for siding and for pipes as it is more solid.

Characteristics of PVC

There are four main properties of PVC which have contributed to its popularity:

  • Cost - PVC tends to be relatively cheap and also readily available
  • Density - PVC is denser than other plastics
  • Rigidity - uPVC is very rigid
  • Strength - PVC has an inherent tensile strength

One term you may have heard in relation to PVC is "thermoplastic', and this is a term that describes how the material responds to heat. So, flexible PVC becomes liquid at somewhere between 100 degrees Celsius and 260 degrees Celsius (depending on what has been added to it). The fact that it is a thermoplastic material also means it can be melted and reformed again without any degradation taking place.  They won't burn, and they can be injection moulded - they have tonnes of uses.

On the other hand, rigid PVC can only be heated once as the heating process will cause the material to set, which is a chemical change that cannot be undone. This means that If you then try and reheat it, it will just burn.

How is PVC Manufactured?

There are three ways in which PVC can be manufactured:

  • Bulk Polymerisation - a soluble radical initiator, is added to pure monomer in a liquid state.
  • Emulsion Polymerisation - starts with an emulsion incorporating water, monomer and surfactant.
  • Suspension Polymerisation - is a heterogeneous radical polymerisation process that uses mechanical agitation to mix a monomer in a liquid phase forming spheres of a polymer.

As you can see PVC is an excellent material with a unique blend of qualities which make it really useful for us as strip curtain manufacturers.