uPVC, or unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic building material that is widely used in the construction industry due to its exceptional strength and low-maintenance properties. This lightweight material has become increasingly popular as an alternative to painted timber, particularly in the home improvement sector.
One of the primary benefits of uPVC is its resistance to a wide range of environmental factors, including chemicals, sunlight, and oxidization from water. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor applications, such as double-glazed windows and doors, where it can withstand exposure to the elements without fading, cracking, or warping.
In addition to its suitability for windows and doors, uPVC is also commonly used for a range of roofline products, including downpipes, guttering, and fascias. This is due to its low cost and long-lasting durability, which makes it a cost-effective choice for homeowners looking to improve the look and performance of their homes.
It’s worth noting that while uPVC is often referred to as PVC or PVCu, all these terms refer to the same plastic building material. So, whether you’re looking to upgrade your windows, doors, or roofline, uPVC is a versatile and reliable choice that can deliver excellent results for years to come.
The science behind uPVC
The history of uPVC dates back to 1935 when it was first produced and has since become a popular building material for industrial use over the past 50 years. The manufacturing process of uPVC involves using sodium chloride to obtain chlorine gas through electrolysis. Petroleum or natural gas is then used to create ethylene, which is combined with liquid vinyl chloride and chlorine to produce uPVC.
PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride, is a chemical compound consisting of chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen. The “U” in uPVC represents “unplasticized,” indicating that the material has not been softened by plasticizers. Instead, heat and UV stabilizer additives are added to make it suitable for use in windows, doors, and other outdoor applications. These additives help uPVC retain its strength and color, making it highly resistant to fading, warping, or discoloration even when exposed to harsh environmental conditions.