PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic used in numerous industries. It is durable, inexpensive and resistant to heat, water and chemicals. Additives such as lubricants, heat stabilizers, plasticizers, impact modifiers, fillers, biocides, smoke suppressors and UV stabilizers enhance its durability and make it suitable for a variety of construction applications.
PVC pipe is strong, lightweight and low-reactive, making them well-suited in sanitary, underground-wiring and water-distribution applications. PVC water pipes do not wear, rot or rust, and are a dependable and affordable material for potable-water piping.
CPVC is altered by a free radical chlorination reaction that effectively increases the chlorine content of the material. CPVC is also a thermoplastic that is molded into many of the same products as PVC. This difference in makeup allows CPVC to withstand a wider range of temperatures. This is why many building codes require the use of CPVC as opposed to PVC for use in hot water applications.
UPVC is used as a replacement for wood in construction, such as in double glazed window frames and window sills and in what is known as vinyl siding in the U.S. It is a versatile material that can be manufacture in many colors or made to look like other materials (e.g., wood). uPVC is also used instead of cast iron for certain types of heavy-duty plumbing and draining.
uPVC is used for the majority of plastic pipes in the world, as it is incredibly resistant to chemical erosion and has smoother inner walls that help to encourage water flow. It also functions well in a wide range of temperatures and operating pressures. It is incredibly strong, stiff and cost-effective, and so is often used for sewage lines and exterior drainage pipes.