10 things you didn’t know about uPVC
1. uPVC or unplasticized PVC was renamed PVCu (you may also see it as PVC-U) in the late 1980s to fall in line with Europe. It is called PVCu there because most European languages place the noun (the word PVC in this case) before the adjective (U).
2. The PVC part of the initials stand for Polyvinyl Chloride.
3. The raw materials for PVC are obtained from the electrolysis of sodium chloride – forming chlorine – and the distillation of oil giving ethylene (petroleum)
4. Old style records (33s, 45s & 78s) were referred to as ‘vinyl’ because they were manufactured from PVC.
5. PVCu does not rot or biologically decompose, though the early formulations tended to discolour and become brittle from prolonged exposure to sunlight.
6. PVCu can be reshaped at very high temperature and can therefore be recycled many times.
7. Your wardrobe might be full of cotton, polyester and wool garments but there is a multi-million industry producing PVC coats, dresses, boots, shoes and even underwear.
8. PVCu has a memory, so if distorted can be heated to return it to the original extruded shape.
9. PVCu can be formed into very complex shapes by 3D printers which has seen the cost of producing prototype components fall rapidly for manufacturing industries
10. The average PVCu window has a lifespan of around 30 or 40 years and can potentially be recycled up to 10 times.
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