PVC Pipes Everything about PVC Pipes, Types and its Manufacturing Process-

PVC Pipes Everything about PVC Pipes, Types and its Manufacturing Process

13 Oct 2022

 

What is PVC?

 

In the architecture and construction sector, polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is a cost-effective and adaptable thermoplastic polymer that is frequently used to create door and window profiles, pipelines (for drinking water and wastewater), wire and cable insulation, medical equipment, etc. After polyethylene and polypropylene, it is the third-largest thermoplastic substance in the world by volume.

 

It is a solid, white, brittle substance that comes in granules or powder form. PVC is now replacing conventional building materials including wood, metal, concrete, rubber, ceramics, etc. in many applications due to its adaptable qualities, such as lightweight, durability, low cost, and ease of processing. PVC is used to make various things but the most common use of PVC is PVC pipes.

 

Let us now know more about what is PVC pipes and what are the uses of these pipes.

 

What is PVC Pipe?

 

Polyvinyl chloride is referred to as PVC. It is a polymer made of chlorinated hydrocarbons. It is brittle and stiff in its native state. But it becomes more flexible and resilient when coupled with chemicals like plasticizers. Electrical insulation, medical tubing, flooring, furniture, signage, and as a rubber substitute are just a few uses for it. However, it’s most common application is in the production of PVC pipes, which are essential for irrigation, plumbing, and water delivery.

 

Several PVC pipe variations are utilized as hot or cold water conduits in industrial and commercial settings, depending on the application. For more than 80 years, PVC pipes have been employed in a variety of commercial applications. The PVC pipes are the third most used pipes the average usage of this price for manufacturing is nearly 40 million tons a year. This show how sustainable and trusted is PVC across the globe. The best part about these pipes is the PVC pipe prices. The prices are cost-effective and affordable by all.

 

PVC Pipe Uses

 

PVC pipes can be utilized for a variety of tasks, including transporting water and handling chemical or industrial waste, thanks to their safety, durability, cost-effectiveness, and recyclability. PVC pipes can be used in both above-ground and subsurface spaces of any construction. If they are painted with water-based latex paint and with UV stabilizers and inhibitors to guard against ultraviolet radiation, they are also useful for usage in outdoor environments. Common substances like salts, acids, oxidizers, or bases have no effect on them.

 

There is wide range of uses of the PVC pipes and some of them are mentioned below-

 

-   The PVC pipes are used for making the water plumbing and water pipes.
-   The pipes are also essential for rain water management.
-   These pipes are also helpful in making the fire sprinklers.
-   PVC pipes are necessary part in the industrial use.
-   The pipes are used in fittings of various things.
-   These are useful pipes for chemical handling and agricultural purpose.
-   The pipes are used for infrastructure and other structural material.
-   Lastly, these pipes are utilized for coating and cable insulation as well.

 

PVC pipes can also be used in a variety of ways in the contemporary world. Due to the versatility of the pipes, they are being used in a variety of recreational settings. These pipes come in a wide range of shapes, widths, thicknesses, colors, and transparency, which has contributed to the product's widespread use in recreational activities. PVC pipes, for instance, can be used to create a variety of recreational products, including tents, covered spaces, raised garden beds, greenhouse and carport frameworks, and many others.

 

Let us now jump on to the types of PVC types.

 

Types of PVC Pipe

 

When it comes to PVC pipes, there are 4 major types:

 

i. UPVC (Unplasticized PVC)

 

Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride, generally known as UPVC, is a low-maintenance building material used mostly for window frames and sills when installing double glazing in new structures or to replace existing single glass windows. It is an alternative for painted wood. It can also be used for siding, weatherboarding, and fascia. The use of the same material for waste pipes, drain pipes, guttering, and downpipes has nearly fully superseded the usage of cast iron in plumbing and drainage. In the home renovation sector, these goods are frequently referred to as "Roofline."Knowing that UPVC pipes is a less expensive option to expensive hardwood lumber and aluminium is beneficial. It is a popular material due to its durability and it being a cost-effective solution.

 

UPVC is used for making various things including UPVC windows, UPVC doors, and much more.

 

ii. CPVC (Chlorinated PVC)

 

Polyvinyl chloride resin is chlorinated to create chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), a thermoplastic. PVC is far less flexible than CPVC, which also has a lower temperature tolerance. Cold and hot water distribution pipes as well as industrial liquid handling are applications. Since more than 50 years ago, CPVC pipes have been used effectively in plumbing applications all over the world. It is a sturdy, long-lasting material.

 

CPVC pipes is an excellent material for residential, commercial, and even industrial plumbing and fire sprinkler systems due to its inherent chemical resistance, dependability, and capacity to withstand high heat and pressure. It was first created by Lubrizol Advanced Materials.

 

iii. OPVC (Molecularly Oriented PVC)

 

In order to achieve unrivalled mechanical properties in a plastic pipe, such as high impact resistance (almost unbreakable), high stiffness and fatigue resistance, excellent behavior with external loads, elimination of crack propagation, and maximum ductility, the amorphous structure of UPVC was reorganized into a layered structured by a mechanical process.

 

This reorganization or alignment is accomplished by stretching the plastic under particular circumstances that permit the molecules to revolve in the direction of the deformation. Although these molecular alterations cannot be seen at the macroscopic level, they can be clearly seen under an electronic microscope. Since it is a physical process and there is no chemical change, the PVC formulation is unaffected significantly.

 

iv. Hi-PVC (High Impact PVC (PVC-Hi)

 

High impact PVC, often known as PVC-Hi, is the newest type of PVC pipe. They are made by improving PVC-impact U's resistance by adding various chemicals. Standard PVC had a limited range of uses since it wasn't sturdy enough, although having several advantages. To solve this problem, experts alloyed PVC with polycarbonate. This resulted in an alloy composition with outstanding dimensional stability when subjected to heat or pressure.

 

In the end, this produced a strong thermoplastic resin composition with exceptional impact strength and thermal distortion resistance. This mixture typically consists of vinyl chloride resin alloy and polycarbonate. The other material combination consists of butadiene- and ethylene-vinyl-acetate-modified acrylic. Both versions proved to be incredibly rigid.

 

Hi-PVC is used when regular PVC couldn't sustain the pressure or the high temperatures. Because of this, it is widely used for industrial liquids or in commercial sewage systems. Because cutting it won't hurt it, it's also a smart solution if you wish to link two pipes.

 

Benefits of using the PVC pipes

 

PVC pipes are widely used and valued for their many advantages, including their durability and affordability. The following are the principal benefits of using each kind of PVC piping:

 

I. The safest option

 

PVC is one of the safest types of pipes to use for carrying drinking water. Since PVC has a great resistance to corrosion and makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow on it, it is a valuable resource for preserving public health. PVC also functions as a form of barrier against pollutants entering drinking water due to its composition. Therefore, you if you are looking for the safest options in pipe, you can just opt for the PVC pipes.

 

II. Environment friendly

 

The environmental friendliness of PVC pipes depends on a variety of factors. Because PVC has a minimal carbon footprint, creating it requires fewer resources and energy. Since they are so light, transporting them uses less energy. PVC pipes' smooth surface reduces energy and pumping costs. PVC pipes are the most environmentally friendly ones because they can be recycled. So, when you use these pipes you don’t have to worry about the harm that usually plastics give to the nature.

 

III. Recyclable

 

PVC pipes are totally recyclable. The original properties of PVC material can be recycled up to seven times without losing any of them. Utilizing recycled PVC reduces carbon emissions by 2 kg for every kg of PVC recycled, assisting in the preservation of natural resources. Recycling PVC benefits both the environment and local economies.

 

IV. Affordable and durable

 

Each piece of PVC piping is durable and lightweight, which contributes significantly to its appeal. PVC has a service life of up to 100 years. Its durability comes from its extreme strength. PVC pipe has also been discovered to be more resistant to difficult conditions than other pipeline materials. You won't have to spend money replacing PVC frequently because of its long lifespan. PVC pipe price is cost-effective for purchasing, installation, usage, and maintenance due to its widespread use.

 

Manufacturing Process of PVC Pipe

 

Raw materials are extruded to create PVC pipes. The PVC has to go through a typical process in order to make a PVC pipe. Here is the procedure that PVC pipe manufacturers go through to make a pipe-

 

-   The process starts with feeding the raw material or powder feed into the PVC twin screw extruder.
-   Later the raw material is the melted and heated to the extended so that it is ready to be in the shape. This material is melted and heated in multiple extruder zones.
-   Further, a die is used to extrude and mold the material into the desired shape.
-   Once the shape is given, the cooling down process starts.
-   Lastly, the PVC pipes are then finally trimmed into the required length.

 

Almost every variety of PVC pipe goes through the same manufacturing process. Because of its innate characteristics, PVC pipes are more challenging for producers to create and market.

 

Manufacturing Raw Material for PVC Pipe

 

The primary sources of raw materials for PVC are salt and oil. Salt water is electrolyzed to produce chlorine, which is combined with ethylene (obtained from oil) to form vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). The polymerization of VCM molecules yields PVC resin, which is subsequently mixed with the appropriate additives to produce a particular PVC compound.

 

There are 5 steps process in PVC production-

 

-   It starts with the extraction of hydrocarbon and salt resources
-   Later, the conversion of these resources into ethylene and chlorine
-   Vinyl chloride monomer is created by combining chlorine with ethylene (VCM)
-   VCM is polymerized to create polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
-   PVC polymer is blended with other substances to create various formulations with a variety of physical qualities.

 

Here is the process of PVC pipe manufacturing-

 

The raw materials required to create PVC pipe are PVC resin, DOP, stabilizers, processing acids, lubricants, colors, and fillers. Water and power are also very vital.

 

Procedure of PVC pipe manufacturing

 

Extrusion

 

The PVC uncompounded resin is not suitable for direct processing, much like other thermoplastics. Mix additives are used for the PVC resin's process and stability. The production method makes use of additives like DOP, DIOP, DBP, DOA, and DEP.

 

Lubricants - Epoxidized monoester of oleic acid, buty-stearate, glycerol mono-stearate, stearic acid, etc. is among the lubricants utilized.
Fillers - When making a product of exceptional quality, such as calcined clay, fillers are employed.
Stabilizers - Stabilizers commonly used include led, barium, cadmium, tin, and stearate.
Plasticizers - DOP, DIOP, DBP, DOA, DEP, Reoplast, Paralex, etc. are examples of common plasticizers.

 

PVC resin is combined with plasticizers, stabilizers, lubricants, and fillers for process and product stability. The elements and PVC resin are mixed quickly in a mixer.

 

Compound resin, inserts, and dies that have been fitted for the required diameter are all injected into a double screw extruder. The PVC compounds are then sent through a hot chamber, where screw compression and barrel heat cause the compounds to melt. The marking is done during the extrusion stage.

 

Machinery used to make PVC pipes

 

There are various machines used in making of PVC pipes but the mostly used are only two-

 

1. Extrusion Machine - Unformed material is forced or pulled into alignment guides and shaped dies by extrusion machines to create lengths of stock forms and cross-sectional shapes. They are mostly utilized in the composite-forming, metal, and plastics sectors. Construction, automotive, and aerospace applications all make use of extrusion machinery. An extruder's fundamental components are a tubular barrel, a rotating screw, and a ram or plunger inside the barrel. The material to be extruded is fed into the screw, ram, or plunger of an extruder from a hopper at one end. The extruded mass is shaped with a die at the other end. There is also extrusion equipment that may trim extruded materials into short or long intervals.

 

2. Injection molding machine - By heating plastic ingredients until they are molten, then injecting them into a mould where they cool and solidify, Injection Molding is a technique for creating molded items. The technique plays a significant role in the field of plastic processing and is appropriate for the mass manufacture of goods with complex shapes. The machine also helps in making the PVC pipes of desired shape and size.

 

Issues faced during PVC Pipe Manufacturing

 

The PVC pipe manufacturers might face some of the problems during the manufacturing process. Some of them are mentioned below-

 

- Friction in Extruder

 

The nature of PVC plastic causes exceptionally high friction and stress on the extruders. For the extended service life of the PVC pipe production line, a specific twin-screw extruder is required, and the robust building materials can endure the demanding operating conditions.

 

- Competition of the market

 

Due to the widespread usage of PVC pipes for piping, there are numerous pipe producers. Therefore, manufacturers should offer a wide variety of items at affordable costs in order to stay ahead of the competition. This issue can be resolved by utilizing top-notch production machinery that boosts output while costing as little as possible and can produce different PVC pipe sizes.

 

- Range of product

 

PVC pipes are available in a range of diameters and sizes, and a selection of fittings is available for each size. Because of this, it is highly desirable for PVC pipe manufacturers to offer the market a diverse selection of goods, which is why you will have to choose the good machine to provide various products.

 

 

Conclusion-

 

PVC pipes are widely used for many things in the industry and are known for its versatility. This blog has everything you need to know about PVC pipes, its manufacturing procedure and the types. If you are a manufacturer or you are planning to start a manufacturing plant, this will guide you through the whole procedure.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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