Arguments, facts, links about PVC - the versatile raw material
PVC, made from the intermediate raw material vinyl chloride - which in turn is made from the basic raw materials crude oil and rock salt - is the world's third most important plastic.

Some 70% of the PVC produced is used for durable construction materials in the building industry. Examples are PVC pipes, window frames, floor coverings and barrier sheets. In the field of health services and medical appliances, PVC is an important material as well. For example, transfusion and blood bags as well as blister packaging are made from PVC. Many other common items such as electrical cable sheathing, automotive underbody protective coatings, conveyor belts and tarpaulins are also made from PVC. Germany is the largest PVC market in Europe, followed by Italy, France and the United Kingdom. The worldwide growth of the PVC consumption amounts to approximately 4 to 5% per year.

About 57% of PVC is chlorine. It is obtained via electrolysis from rock salt, a resource that is available in virtually unlimited amounts. Chlorine is responsible for some of the special attributes of the thermoplastic material PVC. PVC is flame-retardant, non-poisonous and resistant to alkalis, acids and many organic solvents. About 70% of PVC is used in rigid or semi-rigid products. The addition of plasticizers imparts flexibility and elasticity to the material. With salt being the primary raw material, PVC uses comparatively few non-renewable fossil fuels in its production - both an environmental as well as an economic advantage.

Dr Oliver Mieden
Environmental Affairs / Corporate Communications Manager
Tel.: +49 89 96103-240, Fax: -103