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The plasticization of PVCs

SpecialChem / Nov 26, 2003

PVC is a performing but relatively stiff and brittle resin that cannot be used in sheeting or wire covering applications. Its plasticization was discovered in 1928 by The BF Goodrich Company which opened the door to industrial applications on a large scale such as sheets, films, and electrical insulation for medical, food or general packaging, electricity, industrial soft tubing... The volume of plasticizers used in PVC is roughly estimated at 5 million tons for about €5 billion at a mean cost of 1 €/kg. This is in the same range as PVC resin price. 85% of plasticizers are phthalate esters, which are low cost and widely availability. From this data we can conclude that PVC: * Is too rigid * Does not perform well enough at low temperatures * Has a very high tensile strength that can be decreased without drawbacks * Is fire retardant without additives * Is transparent which is important for packaging, medical applications... * Has a relatively low resistivity for a polymer that might not be decreased for electrical applications.

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