PVC has the versatility to help it meet modern design needs. Because of the material’s technical properties and environmental attributes, PVC often outperforms competing or traditional materials and adds significant value to quality, safety, sustainability and cot-effectiveness in delivering the required service, be it transporting clean drinking water, conserving energy in a home, or protecting fresh food.
Technical PVC Properties:
- Strong and lightweight
- Easy to install
- Fire resistant
- Low maintenance and Life Cycle costs
- Health and Safety
- Minimal pollution
More than 50 percent of PVC’s feedstock is derived from an abundantly available resource salt. It is salt (sodium chloride) from which the chlorine in PVC is derived. The remaining 43 percent of PVC’s feedstock , ethylene , comes from petroleum, which means that PVC consumes proportionally less non-renewable resources than other traditional polymers.
Good thermal insulation properties of PVC window frames and cladding help to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. Double-glazed PVC windows rated under the government supported Windows Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) have consistently achieved high energy-efficient ratings.
Low embodied energy:
Because its uses less oil for its feedstock, PVC is considered to be one of the least energy intensive of all thermoplastics and PVC products are often found to have a lower embodied energy when compared to alternatives. PVC resin manufacturing in Australia has achieved significant energy and greenhouse gas emission efficiencies over the past ten years.
Through factory and post-industrial recycling, there is generally little resource wastage during the production of PVC and its conversion to finished products. Product development and innovation by Australian manufactures is further improving design efficiency, optimizing material efficiency in products. Modified PVC (PVC-M), oriented (PVC-O) pipes and low gauged film are such examples.
Design for durability and long life:
Over 90 percent of PVC applications are designed for medium or long-term use. PVC is resistant to weathering, chemical rotting, corrosion, shock and abrasion. Some applications such as underground pipe and wall formwork are expected to have service lives of more than 100 years. Exhumed PVC pipe that had been buried in Australian soils for 30 years has been tested and found still to be in excellent condition.