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The Difference Between PVC And Plastic

Many consumers have no idea that PVC or polyvinyl chloride is a type of plastic. They also do not know that it serves a wide range of other applications apart from piping to deliver cold and hot water. It is used to make shower curtains, imitation leather, fittings to transfer chemicals, and even window frames. It can also be used for plumbing systems, gutters, home siding, medical pipe tubing, as well as skiing equipment. But there are also other kinds of plastics other than PVC and provided below is a brief discussion about plastics. Including the differences between the most common ones.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC or polyvinyl chloride has not changed that much since 1926, when it was first introduced. Today, it is still known for its high mechanical strength and hardness. It temperature tolerance is quite low.  When exposed at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down and it melts when subjected to temperatures that go beyond 160 degrees, unless it goes through an additional chlorination process, which creates a product called CPVC. In terms of its electrical properties, PVC possesses good insulation but since its composition contains polar elements, it offers the worse insulation compared to other types of plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene.

PVC materials can also withstand a variety of chemicals like bases, acids, salts, alcohol, and fats, which makes this type of plastic ideal for sewage and drainage piping. PVC does not have high resistance to solvents except paint thinners and fuel. It can also be produced in a range of colors but it is usually available in blue, white, and dark grayish shades.

Other Plastics

Polyethelene or PE is the most widely used form of plastic. About 80 million tons of PE are produced each year. In 1939, PE was industrialized and was used for common packaging purposes including containers, bottles and plastic bags. PE is extremely versatile and it is available in different forms. A few of the difference of between PVC and plastic is that the latter has low rigidity, hardness, and strength. But despite that, PE can be stretched into wire because of its high ductility and can resist sudden applied impact thanks to its impact strength.

Another difference between PVC and plastic, particularly PE, is that it is malleable and flexible material. PE also has a bit higher temperature compared to PVC. PE with varying density also have varying melting points. PEs with higher density will also have a higher melting point. This plastic type is nearly 100% water and gas resistant. But it also has one downside, it can become brittle if it is constantly exposed to sunlight.

Polystyrene or PS is also a commonly used type of plastic that comes in various forms and design. It was made commercially available in 1931. It was used to make plastic tableware, Styrofoam, disposable plates and cups, as well as CD cases. PS takes a while before it becomes biodegradable, making it a controversial material among environmentalists. Another difference between PVC and plastic, particularly PS, is that it is has a higher melting point, which is at 464 degrees. However, it will begin to decompose when exposed to low temperature. Another difference between PVC and plastic, like PS, is that the latter is highly flammable, which is why it is commonly concealed behind sheet material, drywall, or concrete when used in building construction projects.

Polypropylene or PP was developed in 1951. It is a polymer that is used for different purposes like carpets, ropes, automobile bumpers, loudspeakers, laboratory equipment, fenders, and stationery. Its surface is slippery and slick. This type of plastic is mixed with welding processes. Despite its low density, PP is flexible, tough, durable and cost effective. Its melting point sits somewhere between 266 and 340 degrees. At 32 degrees, it becomes brittle and starts to degrade when constantly exposed to UV sunlight and heat, which is why it requires treatment to prevent degradation. PP can also be made translucent. However, unlike polystyrene, making it translucent is a difficult process.

PVC Decking Material

Now that you know the difference between PVC pipe and plastic, let us now talk about PVC decking material. As mentioned earlier, PVC is an affordable product that is easy to handle and lightweight. It is designed to replicate the natural look of wood but without the hassle of having to clean and maintain it regularly. It is b   etter than traditional wood because it is hard wearing and can last for several years. If you have decided to use vinyl or PVC as the main material for your custom decking project, you can be assured that after the installation, you will enjoy your new outdoor living space for a very long time.

If you use this material for your residential deck building project, you do not have to worry about various forms of degradation like corrosion. It is also used in different industries because it can be transformed into different forms. Apart from that, it can be recycled easily and transformed into other new products used in different sectors because it is a thermoplastic.

As you can see, PVC decking material is the best option for your decking project. Please contact Futurewood now if you want to know more. Our team offers impeccable customer service. Plus, you can visit our website if you want to learn some general tips and information about a specific decking material. What are you waiting for? Call us now!