What is PVC?


PVC Basics

Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is one of the most widely used thermoplastic polymers in the world.  Around the world, over 75% of PVC manufactured is used in construction. As a building material, PVC is inexpensive, durable, and easy to assemble. The PVC world market grew with an average rate of approximately 5% in the last years and will probably reach a volume of 40 million tons by the year 2016.


Background: Developed in Europe during the 1800’s, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was first produced commercially in the USA in 1933 and had an important use as cable insulation during World War II. Polyvinyl chloride then became used for many more applications soon after.
Applications: PVC is part of our daily life. Whether in construction for piping, cable jacketing and clean rooms, as a boat or truck tarp, tent window, an inflatable play structure or in the form of strip doors, PVC can be found everywhere. Our mission at the TMI Group of Companies is to use PVC to Manage Environments™. Our materials protect, control water, humidity, chemicals, noise, dust, temperature, light, insects and more.  Advantages of PVC:

  • PVC raw material cost is generally lower than competing materials. The processing temperature is lower for PVC (lower energy cost). PVC saves energy in the production process, and during its all cycle life. PVC saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions.

  • PVC has broad applications. Rigid or flexible, in any color, shape, texture or size.

  • PVC is an environmentally sound material
    PVC production and processing require comparatively few fossil fuels and resources (57% of PVC consists of native rock salt available in virtually unlimited amounts; oil comprises the other 43%). PVC construction products are light, low-maintenance, long-lasting and recyclable.

  • PVC is Safe: Latest advances in PVC development, have created phthalate free PVC to address concerns about potential harm to infants exposed to PVC grades with excessive levels of phthalate based plasticizers.  A corresponding law has been passed by the State of CA stating that toys and child care articles containing excessive levels of phthalates cannot be sold or distributed in California after January 1, 2009. The TMI Group of Companies is the first in the United States to offer a complete line of non-phthalate PVC products.

  • PVC has superior performance characteristics
    • High Impact Resistance
    • Good flexibility
    • Easy to handle and clean
    • Excellent processing characteristics (e.g. welding and sealing)
    • Durability, long life cycle
    • Thermal stability, less expansion and contraction than many other competing materials
    • Specialty Formulas offer custom solutions
Specialty Formulas:
  • Anti-static properties
  • High or low gloss
  • Smooth or embossed
  • Low and ultra low temperature performance
  • Oil & Chemical resistance
  • Flame Retardants
  • UV stabilizers
  • Phthalate free
  • Food contact acceptable

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