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Polyvinylidene Chloride

Last updated date: 18th May 2024
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What is a Polyvinylidene Chloride?

Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) is defined as a synthetic resin, which is produced by the polymerization of vinylidene chloride. It can be used principally inflexible, clear, and impermeable plastic food wrap.

Properties of Polyvinylidene Chloride

Vinylidene chloride (with the bonding CH2=CCl2) is a colourless, clear, and toxic liquid. It is obtained from trichloroethane (CH2=CHCl3) via dehydrochlorination (the removal of hydrogen chloride [HCl]) of that compound by alkali treatment. In water, the liquid can be suspended either as fine droplets for PVDC processing, or else, it is treated with soaplike surfactants and also dispersed as an emulsion of smaller particles in water.

The vinylidene-chloride monomers (small and single-unit molecules) can be joined together to form large and multiple-unit polymers using the free-radical initiator action. The polymer is obtained from the water phase either as beads or dry powder, which may be melted for extrusion into the plastic film.

The outstanding property of PVDC is given as its low permeability to the water vapour and gases - making it ideal in food packaging. Copolymers of vinylidene chloride, including the other monomers, are also marketed. The well-known is Saran, which is a copolymer consisting of around 87% vinylidene chloride and 13% vinyl chloride. The Dow Chemical Company first introduced Saran in 1939, and it is still a common transparent food wrap today.

Polyvinylidene Chloride Structure

Let us look at the polyvinylidene chloride structure below.

The chemical structure of Polyvinylidene chloride can be represented as follows:

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Fiber Types

Saran fibre is available in monofilament, multifilament-twist, and staple types. Thermochromic (colour changing) and luminescent (glow in the dark) fibres are also available.


Let us look at a few of the characteristics of Polyvinylidene chloride:

Compatibility With Additives

The chemical structure of PVC's Chlorine polar groups, as well as its amorphous nature, allows it to easily mix with a variety of substances. Several qualities can be imbued in products based on the additives used in PVC manufacturing, including anti-mist, different colours, fire inhibiting, elasticity, impact resistance, durability, and microbe prevention.


The factor which most strongly affects the product’s durability under conditions of typical use is the resistance to oxidation by atmospheric oxygen. PVC has excellent longevity due to its high resistance to oxidative reactions. In a test performed by the Japan PVC Pipe and Fittings Association, for example, 35-year-old underground pipes showed no signs of deterioration. This specific durability applies even through the process of recycling because the re-converted product’s physical properties are virtually similar to those made from virgin PVC resin.

Fire Resistance

Fire resistance is one of the major qualities of PVC that make it popular in several industries like building products. Also, PVC is a thermoplastic, which is made of 57% chlorine derived from common salt, and when ignited, its chlorine content will extinguish the flames. PVC has a high ignition temperature of 455°C. Because the heat released by the PVC when ignited is much lower compared to the temperatures released by other plastics such as PP and PE, it is less likely to spread the fire to other materials that increase the desirability of building products.

Electrical Insulation

PVC holds a good dielectric strength. It means it can withstand a considerable amount of electric field strength without breaking down its insulation properties. When combined with the fire-retardant properties of PVC, this dialectic strength makes it ideal for usage in insulation tape, communication cables, switch boxes, residential electrical cables, and wire covering.

Oil and Chemical Resistance

Although PVC swells or dissolves in aromatic hydrocarbons, cyclic, and ketone ethers, it is difficult, not easy, to dissolve in other organic chemicals. Also, it is almost resistant to all the inorganic chemicals. This makes it more ideal for the usage in gas exhaust pipes or tubes and ducts of all kinds, including medical applications.


PVC is available in two basic forms: Rigid (at the time, abbreviated as PVC) and versatile. Polyvinyl Chloride (Vinyl or PVC) is given as a versatile and cheap thermoplastic polymer, which is widely utilized in the housing and building industry to supply window and door profiles, pipes (waste-water and drinking water), cable and wire insulation, medical devices, and more.

Polyvinylidene Chloride Uses

Various polyvinylidene chloride uses are given below.


Polyvinylidene chloride can be applied as a water-based coating to the other plastic films such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP). This coating will increase the film’s barrier properties, reducing the permeability of the film to the oxygen and flavours and hence extending the shelf life of the food, which is inside the package. It may also impart a high-gloss finish, which can be aesthetically pleasing and also provides a higher degree of scuff resistance if it is applied overprint.


Polyvinylidene chloride can be used for household purposes such as cleaning cloths, screens, filters, shower curtains, tape, and garden furniture.


Polyvinylidene chloride is useful for industrial uses such as artificial turf, screens, underground materials, and waste-water treatment materials.


PVC is also much useful for various uses such as stuffed animals, doll hair, fishnet, fabrics, pyrotechnics, shoe insoles.

FAQs on Polyvinylidene Chloride

1. What are the Disadvantages of PVC?

Answer: While PVC is extremely useful as a food packaging agent, the primary disadvantage of polyvinylidene chloride is, it will undergo thermally induced dehydrochlorination at temperatures much near to the processing temperatures. By leaving the polyene sequences long enough to absorb visible light, this oxidation spreads quickly, changing the material's colour from colourless to an unappealing transparent brown. Thus, there is a significant amount of product loss in the process of manufacturing that increases both consumer and production costs.

2. What is Grey PVC?

Answer: In the plumbing trade, grey piping, which is indicated by the subjects we chose to include, is known as chlorinated polyvinyl chloride or simply CPVC. Grey can be scheduled 80 as opposed to 40 (although it comes in schedule 40, it is white, and the uses are rare) and is formulated to resist heat and to warp more than the normal PVC.

3. Explain the Toxicity of PVC?

Answer: For all intents and purposes, Polyvinyl Chloride is safe to use or wear. The monomer is given as dangerous, but unless we are working at a manufacturer, our exposure to the monomer is very low.

4. Explain why PVC is Bad?

Answer: It is the mildly flammable one, and when it burns, it gives off toxic fumes like 1/2 the stuff in most of the houses.