Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a naturally white and very brittle plastic. PVC has been around longer than most plastics and was first synthesized in 1872 and commercially used in the 1920s. The two major categories of PVC are RPVC and FPVC (regular PVC). RPVC is rigid and regular PVC is much softer and flexible. Rigid PVC in the U.S. is most commonly used as pipes for plumbing and siding, whereas regular PVC is found as insulation on electrical wires and floors where a sterile environment is priority.

Advantages of PVC:

  • Readily available and inexpensive
  • Very dense; very hard
  • High resistance to impact deformation
  • Excellent tensile strength
  • Resistant to chemicals

Disadvantages of PVC:

  • Poor Heat stability
  • Emits toxic fumes upon melting

Resin Identification Code:

PVC Specifications:


Melt Temperature
212 - 500 °F (100 - 260°C)

Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)
92 °C (198 °F)

Tensile Strength
FPVC: 6.9 - 25 MPa (1000 - 3625 PSI)

RPVC: 34 - 62 MPa (4930 - 9000 PSI)


Specific Gravity
1.35 - 1.45

*At standard State