Understanding The Difference Between PVC And UPVC

Understanding The Difference Between PVC And UPVC

When it comes to choosing materials for your home, you will find that there are a number of high-quality and long-lasting, man-made materials that can be incorporated into the general building structure. Although they might have very common-sounding names, many of these products are designed for very specific applications. As such, whether you’re in the market for new pipes, new windows or new siding, you have to understand the difference between PVC and uPVC.

PVC is regular polyvinyl chloride. This is a very lightweight plastic that is frequently used in construction due to its impressive level of strength and durability. Special plasticizers can be incorporated into polyvinyl chloride to increase its flexibility. The end result is a much less rigid material that can be used in a diverse range of applications or areas.

When no plasticizers have been incorporated into standard PVC, this is known as uPVC. The designation for this material basically means unplasticized PVC. Much like you might expect, this type of plastic is still incredibly light weight and strong. Rather than being flexible, however, it is far more rigid and stiff. It is clear to see that while PVC and uPVC might sound like the same, they are dramatically different in both their composition and their potential uses.

Unplasticized versions of this material are frequently used in the construction industry as a substitute for wood. In instances in which wood cannot be sustainably sourced in great enough volumes, the use of uPVC can sometimes be considered the more environmentally-friendly choice. This is only true, however, when product manufacturers are committed to using eco-friendly production practices.

The real draw of unplasticized materials in these applications, however, is the fact that they do not require the same level of maintenance and care that natural wood does. Wood, particularly wood that is used at the exterior of a building structure, must be routinely treated and stained. These options, however, provider a simple, set-it-and-forget-it solution that requires very little effort on the part of property maintenance teams or building owners.

This is actually one of the most versatile options in construction materials despite its lack of flexibility. It is routinely used in window sills, as part of double and triple glazed windows and to frame sliding glass doors. It is available in a vast range of colors and can even be customized to look like other building materials such metal or natural wood.

One of the major advantages of using plastics of this type in building construction and redesigns is the ability to create structures that are impervious to termite attacks. When plastics are used in place of wood at the building exterior, this leaves fewer places for these invasive and incredibly destructive insects to breed and feed. Moreover, the smooth surface of this plastic allows for easy water flow, which ensures good drainage at the topmost portions of buildings.

PVC is more often used in piping. This is due to its flexibility and the fact that it is more suitable in tight, constricted areas that require curved or otherwise, non-linear designs. Neither of these materials will shrink or otherwise change despite exposure to extreme conditions. As such, both are quickly becoming a preferred choice among both consumers and building companies alike.

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