Everything You Need To Know About PVC Plastic

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most commonly used thermoplastic polymers worldwide (next to only a few more widely used plastics like PET and P.P.). It is naturally white and very brittle (before the additions of plasticizers) plastic. PVC has been around longer than most plastics, first synthesized in 1872 and commercially produced by B.F. Goodrich Company in the 1920s. By comparison, many other common plastics were first synthesized and commercially viable only in the 1940s and 1950s. It is used most commonly in the construction industry and is also used for signs, healthcare applications, and fiber for clothing. PVC was accidentally discovered twice, once in 1832 by French chemist Henri Victor Regnault, and then rediscovered in 1872 by a German man named Eugene Baumann.
The Base Forms and Functions of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is produced in two general forms: a rigid or unplasticized polymer (RPVC or uPVC), and the second as a flexible plastic. In its base form, PVC is characterized by its rigid yet brittle structure. While the plasticized version holds various uses across multiple industries, the rigid version of PVC also has its share of uses. Industries such as plumbing, sewage, and agriculture can utilize rigid PVC across many functions. 
Flexible, plasticized, or regular PVC is softer and more amenable to bending than uPVC due to the addition of plasticizers like phthalates (e.g., diisononyl phthalate or DINP). Flexible PVC is commonly used in construction as insulation on electrical wires or in flooring for homes, hospitals, schools, and other areas where a sterile environment is a priority. In some cases, PVC can act as an effective replacement for rubber. Rigid PVC is also used in construction as a pipe for plumbing and siding, commonly referred to by the term “vinyl” in the United States. PVC pipe is often referred to by its “schedule” (e.g., Schedule 40 or Schedule 80). Significant differences between the schedules include things like wall thickness, pressure rating, and color.