- PVC (polyvinylchloride) is a universal, proven, and reliable material. It was developed in the thirties of the 20th century as one of the first synthetic materials – plastics. It is a material well workable using various technologies, e.g. rolling, extrusion, depositing, or casting, therefore it is predestined for wide range of applications.
- PVC has a unique combination of features, which can be further modified in various ways using processing additives. PVC is usually classified into softened - called most frequently PVC-P, ands hard - called PVC-U. Polyvinylchloride ranks among materials that can be recycled well and reused in the manufacture of products. Recyclable PVC is marked PVC-R. In general, products from PVC are called vinyl products.
- PVC-P is suitable especially for applications where flexibility and elasticity are essential. Main fields of softened PVC’s application include:
- subjects of common use – raincoats, inflatable toys, table cloths, janitorial gloves
- building industry – insulation foils, e.g. swimming pool insulation, ground and roof insulation, green roofs, flooring of various types in rolls and tiles, soft profiles and baseboards, wallpapers
- automotive and electrical industry – most commonly cable sheathing
- health care – blood pocket bags, medical tubes and hoses
- other industries – promotional items, billboards, packages.
- PVC-P features are modified with respect to particular application. Where the appearance is important, the frequent requirement is to achieve the specific colour shade, multi-colour print, or to create a design on the product surface (wood or leather imitation). In technical applications, the most frequent requirements are the long service life and durability. Using the right additives, the service life may reach 10, 15 years, or even more.
- PE (polyethylene) is the most frequently used plastic in the world. Its annual production exceeds 90 million tons. It was developed in 1933. This invention was essential for the development of modern plastic materials, which we cannot imagine our life without anymore. From the chemical point of view, the polyethylene structure is very simple, therefore it can be produced relatively in an easy and inexpensive way. According to its density, polyethylene is classified into two major types, so-called low-density (LDPE) and high-density (HDPE), the third type is the so-called linear low-density PE (LLDPE).
- Both PE types can be processed easily using plastic-processing technologies, and manufacture products of various shapes and sizes from them. In general, polyethylene has an excellent strength, high toughness, and ductility; products may be transparent or coloured with pigments. The common PE processing method is extrusion (2D products) and injection moulding (3D products).
- The best-known polyethylene applications include:
- flexible packages – bags for fresh and frozen food products, shopping bags, extensible foils,
- solid packages – bottles for detergents and cosmetics, cans, barrels, large-size containers,
- daily need products – minor kitchen dishes,
- tubes and pipe.
- Polyethylene may be recycled. It is widely present in the communal waste, therefore there are efforts to sort it (yellow container for sorted waste) and reuse.
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