"PVC" redirects here. For other uses, see PVC (disambiguation).
Elongation at break
Effective heat of combustion
Specific heat (c)
Water absorption (ASTM)
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is a thermoplastic polymer. It is a vinyl polymer constructed of repeating vinyl groups (ethenyls) having one hydrogen replaced by chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is the third most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene. PVC is widely used in construction because it is cheap, durable, and easy to assemble. PVC production is expected to exceed 40 million tons by 2016. According to IUPAC, polyvinyl chloride should be named poly(chloroethanediyl), but the name is not used.
It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this form, it is used in clothing and upholstery, electrical cable insulation, inflatable products and many other applications in which it would originally have replaced rubber.
PVC is a controversial material in that during its production, useful life and incineration, especially in accidental and uncontrolled circumstances, it may liberate persistent toxins (see section 5), which the manufacture, use and destruction of suitable alternative plastics such as polypropylene do not.