You’re probably familiar with PVC pipe. It's the white plastic pipe commonly used for plumbing and drainage. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and it’s become a common replacement for metal piping. PVC’s strength, durability, easy installation, and low cost have made it one of the most widely used plastics in the world. PVC is a thermoplastic material that is molded into different shapes to create pipes, fittings, valves and other liquid handling supplies.
So What is CPVC?
You can think of CPVC as PVC’s cousin.
This difference in makeup allows CPVC to withstand a wider range of temperatures. This is why many building codes require the use of CPVC as opposed to PVC for use in hot water applications. The ASTM standard allows PVC to be used in applications not exceeding 140 degrees F.
A highly durable material, CPVC is used primarily for applications requiring a very long service-life. As a result, little waste is generated, especially compared with material used in disposable product applications. CPVC is lightweight, is based on a relatively low petroleum content and is produced using a very energy-efficient process. Thus, the need for non-renewable energy sources (such as oil and coal) is low compared with traditional materials.
Moreover, CPVC is very light-weight when compared with most alternative materials – especially metals. This means energy savings when transporting both raw CPVC for processing and the finished CPVC based products.
CPVC also benefits society because it makes several ecological and safety-related applications – such as air pollution control and residential fire sprinkler systems – more practical and affordable.
The total energy required to produce a given weight of CPVC pipe is much less than that needed to make an equivalent amount of copper pipe, ranging from 35 to 70 percent less energy, depending on pipe diameter.