Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most widely used polymers in the world. It is an odorless, brittle thermoplastic, which is lightweight and easy to handle. PVC takes less non-renewable fossil fuel to make than any other commodity plastic, compared to plastics such as PE, PP, PET and PS, which are totally dependent on oil or gas, thereby favoring the production of PVC pipes.
PVC is manufactured from two starting materials:
- 43% carbon (derived predominantly from oil / gas via ethylene);
- 57% molecular weight derived from common salt.
Due to its versatile nature, cost-effectiveness and an excellent record of use, PVC becomes essential to improve the quality and safety of construction materials, as well as helping the sustainability of completed projects such as modern architecture. It is widely used across a range of industrial, medical and architectural applications including PVC pipes, window frames and medical bags. PVC is replacing traditional building materials such as clay, woods and metals in many applications and it is also used extensively in refurbishment.
Ductile Cast Iron vs PVC - PVC Pipes Corrosion Free
The debate over which pipe to choose has continued for decades. The discussion is generally centered around two piping materials: cast iron soil and plastic.
Some types of plastic pipe handle acid waste successfully and some people feel that ABS and PVC pipes offer a lower material cost for economy construction projects. However, significant differences exist between cast iron vs PVC pipe, and those differences can be crucial for anyone responsible for selecting piping materials.
PVC pipes - one of the most popular materials for the construction of water pipes
Firstly, the cost-effectiveness of PVC pipes and fittings is higher than iron ones because they have: a long lifetime, expected to be over 100 years; a low weight, which makes transportation and installation easier than iron pipes; and the cost of production of PVC pipes is much lower than its competitors. Secondly, thanks to its chemical inertness with water, PVC does not react with water, it is not prone to corrosion and can resist environmental stress, while iron rusts as time goes by so the water running through is no longer healthy. In addition, compared to its common plastic alternatives, PVC is the most difficult to ignite and it stops burning when the fire source is removed.
It is also easy to recycle PVC pipes and they can be recycled several times without losing their technical properties. Each year, around 50,000 tons of PVC pipes are recycled in Europe.