PVC is an amorphous thermoplastic material, with a range of continuous use temperatures varying by type (Type I, Type II or CPVC).
PVC Type I has a range of 32° F (0° C) to 140° F (60° C). When compared to other amorphous materials Type I PVC is a more chemically resistant, non-flammable, low-cost plastic for use in a variety of applications. It has high impact strength suitable for fabrication, machining, welding, bonding and thermoforming applications. Type I PVC demonstrates good resistance when exposed to chemicals or oxidizing media, and can withstand a wide variety of harsh industrial and mechanical environments. It can be readily cut, drilled, tapped, routed and otherwise machined using conventional tools, and can be brake formed (thinner gauges), heat welded, adhesive bonded and mechanically fastened, allowing rapid fabrication of a broad range of high-integrity parts and assemblies.
PVC Type II has a range of -4° F (-20° C) to 140° F (60° C). It is categorized as a standard material, and offers easy processability along with high strength and stiffness. PVC Type II offers higher impact strength than PVC Type I, is slightly better when exposed to chemicals, and is better in lower temperatures. Since PVC Type II has a slightly better chemical resistance it is better with organic and inorganic chemicals, as well as oxidizing agents. It provides excellent electrical insulation properties and can be cut, routed, hot-gas welded, cold and heat bent, vacuum formed and glued.
CPVC has a range of -12° F (-24° C) to 212° F (100° C). It is categorized as a standard material, and offers extreme chemical resistance, high heat distortion temperature and extremely low water absorption.
CPVC is modified by chlorination, resulting in a material with a higher heat resistance that is readily workable, including machining, welding, and forming. CPVC is used in applications involving harsh acids, bases and other caustic chemicals. Because of its excellent corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures, CPVC is ideally suited for applications where operating temperatures reach 200 °F (90 °C). Since CPVC is fire-retardant, easy to form, and can be welded it enables it to be used in a wide variety of processes and applications. It is extensively used for hot water pipe and fittings, particularly in commercial and multi-housing construction.