A Guide to PVC Tubing
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a top choice for applications that require stability and resistance to tears, corrosion, weather, chemicals, and electricity. The compounds used to make PVC tubing are safe for people with latex allergies which makes it a good choice for laboratory, food, and medical applications. PVC compounds and tubing can be cut, shaped, welded, and joined to create products to fit virtually any need.
If you want to know more about this versatile elastomer, this guide can help you understand how PVC tubing is made and used—and why it’s the perfect material for a range of applications.
Raw Materials Used for PVC Tubing
Salt water and oil are the raw materials used in the manufacture of PVC. The electrolysis of salt water produces chlorine, which is combined with ethylene obtained from oil. Chlorine and ethylene gasses are combined to produce ethylene dichloride. This is converted at high temperatures to vinyl chloride monomer, which is used to form polyvinyl chloride resin.
PVC Tubing Production Process
Modern PVC processing follows advanced scientific methods for precise control. PVC tubing is typically manufactured through the extrusion of raw material PVC. The process involves feeding the raw material into an extruder, melting and heating the material in multiple zones, and then pushing the material through a die to the desired shape. The tube is then cooled and cut into desired lengths.
PVC Functional Additives
Before PVC can be made into products, it has to be combined with a range of special additives. The essential additives for all PVC materials are stabilizers and lubricants; in the case of flexible PVC, plasticizers are also incorporated.
Other additives which may be used include fillers, processing aids, impact modifiers, and pigments. Additives will influence or determine the mechanical properties, light and thermal stability, color, clarity, and electrical properties of the end product.
Benefits of PVC
Rigid PVC tubing is strong and lightweight. Abrasion resistance, weather resistance, and durability make it good for building, construction, and outdoor applications. Flexible PVC tubing offers rubber-like flexibility, but is allergen-free, and also has a broad range of chemical and corrosion resistance.
With outstanding flow characteristics, clear PVC tubing allows medical professionals and others to have visual contact with the liquid flow. Easy sterilization and non-toxic features are important for many industries like medical, dental, surgical, and food and beverage.
PVC tubing exhibits the following beneficial characteristics:
- Easy sterilization
Uses of PVC
PVC has been in use for more than half a century with tubing introduced in 1970. As one of the most researched and thoroughly tested plastics, products and applications with PVC compounds are used to meet national and international standards for safety and health. Common uses of PVC tubing include beverage transfer, dairy processing, food handling, chemical processing and transfer, laboratory and medical research, water and fluid lines, and many other uses.
PVC Tubing Products from Kent Elastomer
KEP has years of experience manufacturing top-quality PVC tubing for a wide variety of applications. Our FDA registered facilities are equipped to deliver a highly customized final product that matches your exact specifications. Our experts will work with you to learn the specifics of your project so we can deliver a final product that meets your needs.
Talk to one of our experts to learn more about the advantages of PVC tubing.