PVC CHARACTERISTICS AND PROPERTIES
PVC as a material is fairly durable, flexible, and resistant to many harsh working conditions that can involve chemicals, soil, water, wastewater and water pressure. As a plastic, PVC is naturally resistant to corroding, rusting and the effects of weathering, excluding PVC’s long term sensitivity to continuous ultraviolet (UV) sun exposure. Within chemical handling and processing, PVC offers sufficient chemical strength and compatibility with many corrosives, strong and weak acids, weak bases and caustics as well as halide / brine solutions.Example of Physical PVC Pipe
When compared to many metallic materials that are used for similar applications, products made from PVC are lightweight, more easily maneuvered, can exhibit less chemical reactivity. They also often report lower purchase and installation costs that in turn promotes a greater service life to cost ratio. Plumbing and equipment manufactured from PVC can have a service life potential of 100 years or more when employed within ideal, non-damaging work environments.
In terms of working conditions, properties and sensitivity, PVC can be susceptible to elevated temperatures, scenarios that can experience freezing fluids, applications involving pressurized gases and long term outdoor installation with sun exposure. Maximum service temperatures for PVC cap around 140°F (60°C) where softening of the PVC material can begin to occur. Minimum temperatures for PVC are relevant whenever handling liquids and is largely dependent on the freezing point of the liquid. Fluid freezing should be avoided in PVC pipes as the accompanying expansion can cause damage or fracturing of the structural material.
PVC as tubing and pipework lacks the structural engineering durability to handle pressurized gases and are not intended for gas / air conveyance due to the potential for bursting. Unless covered, painted or fabricated with UV stabilizing compounds such as titanium dioxide, PVC is not recommended for extended, above ground outdoor uses. Free radical reactions along the material’s surface will overtime lead to PVC discoloration and increase plastic embrittlement, noting however this only applies to PVC’s external resilience to impacts and drops.