In Connecticut, professional providers of window repair and replacement services often recommend ct vinyl siding as the best option for replacement windows. While suggestions include sidings as components of windows, the use of vinyl is the oft recommended material because of its energy-efficiency, affordability, durability and aesthetic quality.
While many among us are familiar with the term vinyl as the traditional music album played on turntables or record players, vinyl is also known in the construction world as PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride. Due to their availability and durability, numerous construction materials are made of vinyl or PVC; e.g. floor tiles, water pipes, gutters, downspouts, cable insulators and wall coverings, just to name a few.
In learning about the wide use of vinyl, it also piqued our interest to know the technology behind vinyl or PVC to fully understand the benefits it offers as an alternative to other window siding materials like wood and steel.
How is Vinyl Made?
As mentioned earlier the term vinyl is a derivative of the chemical compound polyvinyl chloride or PVC represented by the chemical formula C2H3Cln. The vinyl chloride combination undergoes a process known as polymerization to artificially produce a man-made resin.
The polymerization process involves exposing polyvinyl chloride to highly reactive compounds (oxygen, hydrogen chloride and copper) that act as initiators in enabling double-bonding monomers or single-unit molecules to connect. Bonding actions transpire repeatedly to form a chainlike network of bonded monomers, to eventually develop into a huge polymer resin known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl for short.
When dealing with the colorless and flammable gas produced by the process, it is approached with the use of special protective equipment as it is toxic and a cancer-causing agent.
The Who and When in the Discovery of Vinyl or PVC
The technology behind the development of vinyl was first discovered in 1835 by a French chemist named Henri Victor Regnault, and improved on by a German chemist Eugen Baumann in 1872. Years later, another German chemist named Friedrich Heinrich August Klatte discovered the practical use of PVC in producing solar radiation that can act as initiator for polymerization, a process which this German chemist sought patent licensing rights in 1912 .
In 1926, Waldo Lunsbury Semon, an American chemist employed by B.F Goodrich Company in the U.S was able to successfully manufacture plasticised Polyvinyl chloride. Semon’s success in developing plasticised PVC caused the boom in commercially-produced polymer. The company’s first uses of the plastic polymer were in coating cloth products, as shock-absorbing seals, and insulations for electric wires under the trademark Koroseal.
Today, there are several other uses of vinyl aside from its popularity as material for window sidings, as the highly durable plastic also found use in the medical industry, in the manufacture of car fixtures and accessories, electronic components and equipment, toys, furniture and an assortment of kitchen items.