Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC): A Versatile Polymer
PVC, or Poly Vinyl Chloride, is a widely used polymer derived from vinyl chloride polymerization. It finds applications in various products such as raincoats, wires, pipes, bottles, credit cards, flooring, and more. Thanks to its resistance to water and fire, PVC is indispensable in the production of numerous items. It’s classified as a thermoplastic polymer, meaning it can melt upon heating and solidify upon cooling, with the chemical formula -[CH2=CHCl]n-.
Manufacturing Process of PVC
Polyvinyl chloride is created through the polymerization of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which, in turn, is produced by the chlorination of ethylene. Ethylene dichloride (EDC) is obtained from this chlorination and undergoes pyrolysis in a cracking device to yield PVC.
CH2=CHCl → -[CH2=CHCl]n–
Polyvinyl chloride is generated through the addition polymerization of several vinyl chloride monomers. The notable polymerization methods used for PVC synthesis include:
- Emulsion or suspension polymerization
- Suspension polymerization
Key Properties of PVC
PVC boasts several important properties:
- Toughness, lightweight, and resistance to abrasion
- Resilience against various environmental factors, chemicals, corrosion, abrasion, and shocks, making it ideal for outdoor and long-lasting products
- High dielectric strength, making it an excellent insulating material
- Self-extinguishing qualities due to its high chlorine content
- Resistance to inorganic chemicals
- Flexibility and softness can be enhanced by adding plasticizers such as phthalate
Applications of PVC
The versatility of PVC is evident in its applications across a wide range of industries, including:
- Pipe construction
- Profile applications like doors and windows
- Food covering sheets
- Credit or debit cards
- Electrical cable insulation
- Phonograph records
- Imitation leather
- Inflatable products, and more.
Permanent Virtual Circuit (PVC): A Networking Term
Another context where PVC stands for Permanent Virtual Circuit pertains to networking. In networking, a PVC represents a logical link between two frame relay terminals and the network-based ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode). Unlike an SVC (Switched Virtual Circuit), a PVC is not rebuilt every time data is transmitted; it remains in place. Once established, a PVC manages the data path between nodes, making it a valuable component in network communication.