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PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is the third-most widely produced plastic. It is produced by polymerization of the monomer vinyl chloride (VCM).

Fig.1: Polymerization of VCM PVC differs from PE (polyethylene), in that there is a chlorine atom as the substituent, making it a polar polymer.

Fig.2: PVC The polarity of the C-Cl bond results in a strong inter chain polar attraction, thereby stiffening the polymer chains and raising the Tg value to +80 0C. Since the commercial PVC is mainly syndiotactic and atactic in composition, there is very little crystallinity (about 5%), and is considered to be a glassy hard amorphous polymer at room temperature. Consequently upon heating to +800C, PVC will become a flexible, rubbery, stretchable state. Thus it is a thermoplastic which ranks second only to polyolefins in total worldwide production volume. Remarkably, it has achieved this status despite its molecular instability toward heat, an instability that is much more pronounced than those of all of its major competitors. In a technological sense, this difficulty has been overcome to a large degree, for otherwise the usage of PVC would never have reached its current level.

PVC's relatively low cost, biological and chemical resistance and workability have resulted in it being used for a wide variety of applications. It is used for sewerage pipes and other pipe applications where cost or vulnerability to corrosion limits the use of metal. With the addition of impact modifiers and stabilizers, it has become a popular material for window and door frames. By adding plasticizers, it can become flexible enough to be used in cabling applications as a wire insulator. It has been used in many other applications. Most PVC products contain plasticizers which dramatically improve their performance characteristic. The most common plasticizers are derivatives of phthalic acid. The materials are selected on their compatibility with the polymer, low volatility levels, and cost. These materials are usually oily colorless substances that mix well with the PVC particles. 90% of the plasticizer market, estimated to be millions of tons per year worldwide, is dedicated to PVC. PVC has high hardness and mechanical properties. The mechanical properties enhance with the molecular weight increasing, but decrease with the temperature increasing. The mechanical properties of rigid PVC (uPVC) is very good, the elastic modulus can reach to 1500-3,000 MPa. The soft PVC (Flexible PVC) elastic is 1.5-15 MPa. However, elongation at break is up to 200% -450%. PVC friction is ordinary, the static friction factor is 0.4-0.5, and the dynamic friction factor is 0.23. Its due to its higher polar nature PVC is a polymer with good insulation properties. The heat stability of PVC is very poor, when the temperature reaches 140 C PVC starts to decompose. Its melting temperature is 160 C. The linear expansion coefficient of the PVC is small and has flame retardancy; the oxidation index is up to 45 or more. Therefore, the addition of a heat stabilizer during the process is necessary in order to ensure the product's properties. When subjected to forms of energy, such as heat, light, and ionizing radiation, PVC liberates hydrogen chloride, with accompanying discoloration and a general deterioration of mechanical and electrical properties. Essentially UV radiation, temperature and moisture can initiate PVC degradation.