The letters `PVC` stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride, which is a chemical compound of chlorine, carbon and hydrogen. The components of PVC originate from the naturally occurring raw materials of petroleum, or natural gas and common salt. The `u` stands for Un-plasticised, (sometimes called Unmodified), and it means that the material has not been softened by the addition of chemicals known as plasticizers.
Stabilizers are the added to the PVC to give the vital long-term stability when used outside. Lead, tin and zinc stabilizers are mostly harmless, they produce exceptional stabilization and are widely used or PVC windows. The stabilizer is insoluble in water and given that the products do not rot, the stabilizers remain permanently in the PVC.
The basic material properties of uPVC make it ideal for window and door application, including:
- Does not rot or biologically decompose.
- Is resistant to weathering with low maintenance requirements.
- Is tough on impact.
- It retains its shape within normal climatic temperatures.
- It can be reshaped at very high temperatures and can therefore be recycled.