PVC resources for students of building industries

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), also known as Vinyl, is a very durable and long lasting material which can be used in a variety of applications, either rigid or flexible, white or black and a wide range of colours in between.

It is the most widely used plastic in building and construction applications with over 50% of all PVC manufactured being used in this sector.

Documents for download and links to further pages appear below.

See also the news, events and features page listing all the latest articles and activities posted on the PVC Committee microsite.



Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a thermoplastic polymer and the third most widely produced plastic globally.

Main attributes of PVC:

  • Durable, strong, lightweight
  • Low maintanence required
  • One of the most widely recycled plastics
  • High performance at low cost
  • Helps conserve energy and natural resources
  • Safe and inert to use (plays a major role in saving people’s lives)
  • Doesn’t support combustion (inherently fire resistant)

57% of the molecular weight of PVC is derived from salt. Common salt is one of the most abundant materials on Earth with over 50 quadrillion tonnes of salt dissolved in the sea and over 200 billion tonnes of salt available underground. Reserves of this material are clearly abundant. The remaining 43% is derived from hydrocarbon feedstocks.

PVC production is less dependent than other polymers on crude oil or natural gas, which are non-renewable, and hence can be regarded as a natural resource saving plastic (ethylene from oil equates to 0.3% of annual oil usage, but increasingly etheylene from sugar crops is also being used for PVC production).

Due to its very nature, PVC is widely used in many industries and provides very many popular and necessary products.

Major applications in the built environment include:

  • window frames
  • drainage pipes
  • water service pipes
  • resilient floorings
  • roofing membranes


Applications outside of the built environment include:

  • medical devices
  • blood storage bags
  • cable and wire insulation
  • stationery
  • automotive interiors and seat coverings
  • fashion and footwear
  • packaging
  • cling film
  • credit cards
  • synthetic leather and other coated fabrics


Global demand for PVC exceeds 35 million tonnes per annum and is in constant growth.


Read on...

PVC for building and construction

PVC sustainability

Fire safety

Innovation and design

PVC industry working with architectural colleges worldwide

Additional information