PVC, the most versatile material
What is PVC?
Chemists call it Polyvinyl Chloride and it was discovered in 1838 by Victor Regnault.
In 1912, Fritz Klatte fine-tuned the principles of its industrial manufacture.
And large-scale production began in 1938, when its multiple application possibilities were recognized.
Where does it come from?
43% of the PVC molecule comes from petroleum and 57% from salt, an inexhaustible source. It can therefore be said that PVC is the plastic with the least dependence on oil, of which there are limited availability. On the other hand, it should be noted that only 4% of total oil consumption is used to manufacture plastic materials, of which only one eighth is PVC.
What does it look like?
It is light, chemically inert and completely harmless. Resistant to fire and weather, it is waterproof and insulating (thermal, electrical and acoustic), highly transparent, protects food, is economical, easy to transform and totally and easily recyclable.
Without a doubt, it is the most versatile of plastics, given the wide and different possible combinations of its formulation.
Depending on the interest for each application, you can add products that, according to our convenience, modify their properties:
HARDNESS, SPECIFIC WEIGHT, IMPACT RESISTANCE, ABRASION, INSULATION, APPEARANCE, TRANSPARENCY, SUITABLE FOR FOOD PACKAGING, ETC. ETC.
So, for example, we can find a ball or a very soft wrist and a window or a drainage tube, very hard and all of them made of PVC.
PVC is a very versatile material and easy to transform.
PVC can be transformed by extrusion, injection, extrusion-blowing, calendering, induction, etc. etc.
PVC is easily recyclable and once recycled it has a wide variety of applications. If we study the history of PVC we see that its recycling is as old as its manufacture. Recycling PVC is technologically simple and economically viable, and there is an important recycling industry in Europe.
There are two methods for its recycling:
In the chemical method, waste is subjected to chemical processes to decompose it into more elementary products. It is a process that continues in the development and improvement phase.
We will focus on the mechanical process, which is the most widely used. We have to consider two types of PVC that are recycled:
Coming from the industrial process (prior to consumption)
From MSW (urban solid waste), or post-consumer.
1.- The one coming from the industrial process: -This is the process that is developed in LARROSE PLASTICS:
The recycling of PVC industrial cuttings is the most common practice in the transformation plants themselves, carried out since almost the beginning of the manufacture of this material. In addition, the recyclers take advantage of trimmings and castings produced by the transformers.
The recycling of industrial PVC is supported by numerous recovery industries that collect, select, shred, wash, granulate and micronize the PVC for further resale to the transformation industrialists.
2º The one coming from the RSU:
There are two alternatives for recycling:
Recycle them all mixed, as they are collected.
Recycle them separately by family. This system is more interesting from the environmental point of view, as it allows better use of natural resources (reduces the consumption of raw materials) and energy.
In order to recycle MSW waste, it is necessary to set up systems for selective collection of materials. These systems are widely implemented in some countries of the European Union and are already being carried out progressively in Spain through the Integrated Management System (ECOENVES).
The amount of PVC in MSW is only 0.5%, so its incidence in landfills, when there is no recycling, is very small.
Recovered and recycled PVC is used to manufacture countless products.