Currently in the market a wide variety of PVC products can be found that address the requirements of both industry and the user:
- Films for packaging of medicinal products, from monolayer films to high barrier films and laminates for the protection of pharmaceuticals. This includes packaging for plasma, serum and blood.
- Films and sheets for packaging electronic products that require specific protective conditions.
- Films and sheets for packaging various products such as batteries, electric lamps, cameras, tools, household products, and cosmetics.
- Thermoformed trays and lids for food packaging.
- Shrink films for labeling bottles, containers, capsules for wine bottles, or containers with tamper protection.
- Film for packaging food.
- Hollow containers (e.g., bottles, cans, bottles, flasks, etc.), either translucent or opaque and colored, with wide variety of designs and shapes, and with or without handles.
- Manufacture of cosmetics: bottles, containers, creams, soaps, etc..
- Chemical and cleaning supplies, packaging for chemicals like alcohol, thinner or cleaning detergents; waxes, oils, degreasers, bleaching liquids, etc., in different types of containers.
Statistically, PVC is used worldwide by 55% of total production in the construction industry. Sixty four percent of PVC applications have a useful life between 15 and 100 years, and PVC is essentially used for the manufacture of pipes, windows, doors, blinds, furniture, etc.
Twenty four percent have a life between 2 and 15 years (i.e., those used for appliances, auto parts, hoses, toys, etc.) The remaining 12% is used in short-term applications, such as bottles, jars, packaging film, etc. and have a lifetime between 0 and 2 years. Half of the latter figure (6%) is used for packaging reasons, and that is why PVC is found in very small amounts (i.e., only 0.7%) in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW).
Polyvinyl chloride was accidentally discovered at least twice in the 19th century. The first time was in 1835 when vinyl chloride was synthesized in a laboratory by Justus von Liebig. Four years later, Victor Regnault published his observations on the appearance of a white powder that was formed when a sealed vial containing vinyl chloride was exposed to sunlight.
Subsequently, in 1912, Fritz Klatte discovered the basis for the industrial production of PVC. Eight years later, the first commercial product made of PVC was introduced in the U.S. A decade later, German industry began production. In 1940, marketing began in England and in 1950, production and trade of PVC products began in Argentina. Towards the end of 1930, B.F. Goodrich and General Electric in the United States developed a formulation of plasticized PVC for use as electrical insulation for wire and cable.
In Mexico, PVC has been marketed since 1947. Between 1953 and 1955 resin-producing plants were opened in this country, but the further technological development and international marketing were common only by the beginning of the eighties.
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