Synthetic resins which are commonly known as plastic are classified into two types one of which is thermoplastic resins. PVC is thermoplastic resin which means it can re-soften by heating unlike thermosetting resins. PVC is known in Europe as vinyl. In fact it is the name vinyl which is more popular especially in the Nordic countries like Sweden and Denmark.
How PVC is made ?
PVC is thermoplastic made up of 57% chlorine, and 43% carbon. It is not heavily dependent on crude oils and the chlorine content present in the PVC makes it highly resistant to heat. Let us take a look at the history of one of the oldest synthetic created by man for his use that is PVC.
When was PVC first used?
The need to find a synthetic replacement for natural rubber arose in the 19th century due to the high level of industrialization. The natural rubber was costly and also it being a natural rubber took it’s time and to form after following a set natural cycle.
Thus the need to commercialize PVC aroused which was accidentally discovered in the 19th century. Henry Victor and Eugen Baumann from France and Germany respectively discovered polymer which appeared as white solid inside flasks of the newly discovered vinyl chloride gas that had been left to expose in the sun.
Waldo Semen was hired by the BFgoodrich a United States company. Walso who was an industrial scientist produced polyvinyl chloride and thus began a new era in the history of synthetic replacement of natural rubber. Although Waldo did face problems in the face of the famous 1920 depression he quickly came up with a very effective solution and thus PVC came to be used as a water resistant coating for fabrics.
As PVC was introduced in the market with its water resistant capacity its sales went up quickly as it was being used for war purposes for military tanks.
World’s third most used synthetic plastic polymer – PVC
Polyvinyl Chloride is dominant in the construction business today. The PVC which was thought to be challenging to be mastered for commercial purposes in the early 19th century today used in such large scale that it has become an inevitable aspect of the construction business.
PVC is the world’s third most used synthetic plastic polymer. PVC comes in two forms rigid and flexible. Some environmentalists are worried with the excess use of the PVC in today’s world. The high amount of chlorine and carbon present in the PVC makes it an environmental hazard.
Brief History of PVC:
Thus this is a brief history of PVC. PVC which is commonly known as Vinyl is used extensively for various purposes. The demand for PVC is rising by five percent every year. More than 36 million tonnes of PVC is used globally every year and the demand is ever rising.
Thus from being totally unmanageable to being indispensable the history of PVC reveals it has come a long way. The cost effectiveness and the long durability are the two most important reasons why PVC has become so popular.
Although very cost effective and durable we as global citizens should limit the excess use of it and save our planet from the negative impact of it. Mindful use of PVC is the best way forward.