PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, and is the world’s third most produced plastic polymer. Roughly half of the world’s polyvinyl chloride manufactured annually is used for producing pipes for municipal and industrial applications. In fact, in the US PVC piping accounts for 75% of all side sewer applications, and sewer repairs.
It’s considered attractive because of it’s lightweight and low cost, however it must be carefully installed and properly bedded to insure that bellying and cracking does not occur. This type of pipe is also convenient because of the various fusion processes it is able to undergo. They can be fused through the use of various solving cements, or through heat fusion similar to HDPE. This created permanent joints that are virtually impervious to leakage.
In the 19th century polyvinyl chloride was created by french chemist Henri Victor Regnault. It was very impractical for many applications in its rigid form, but in the 1920s when other types of plastics were added by the B.F. Goodrich company, the PVC became pliable enough to be used for pipes.
It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that PVC pipes were put into general use in the United States. Over the next few days, improvements in the composition and manufacturing of PVC made it a popular choice for new homes and residential buildings throughout the country.
The manufacturing of PVC piping has had a great impact on its history of use for sewer repairs and installation. Originally PVC pipe was made by melting a powdered version of the plastic and rolling it out. This method proved to be tedious and expensive, and so soon after gave rise to the ram extruder method. In this method, the melted PVC is pushed through a mold to give it a uniform shape. In addition to this, new types of flexible plastic were developed in the 1960s that increased flexibility.
Today, PVC is an extremely common material to find in the world of sewer repair, and water lines. Its flexible and durable properties, in addition to its easy fusibility make it a popular choice for use in renovations. If you are curious about what your pipes are made of, or want to schedule a routine diagnostic, feel free to give us a call at 253-345-7222 or click the “request appointment” button and we will have one of our experienced techs out to you in no time!