What is uPVC?
Last Updated Nov 23, 2011 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
When it comes to building materials, one that you’ve probably heard of but not know exactly what it is is uPVC. There’s no need to wonder any longer as we demystify uPVC in this article, telling you everything you need to know.
uPVC actually stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride. uPVC is also commonly known as rigid PVC and it is called this because it is hard and does not flex. This material doesn’t not contain any phthalates or BPA, so it is actually quite safe. uPVC is so stable and safe that it is actually used to make dental retainers and mouthguards!
Uses for uPVC
uPVC is actually becoming a very common building material and thus you’ll find that it has lots of uses. uPVC is used for the following things, amongst others:
- Window frames and sills
- Plumbing – pipes, guttering, downpipes etc
Advantages of uPVC
There are several advantages to using uPVC in the home. As previously mentioned, it is a very safe material, so it can be used to transport water, or in items that are designed to go in the body without fear of ill effects. uPVC is also one of the lowest maintenance building materials that you’ll ever find. It does not warp, rot or rust, even when subjected to the harshest of weather conditions. It’ll also never fade, and will stay looking good year in and year out. The colour actually goes right throughout the thickness of the material. If it gets scratched, you can usually polish out most surface scratches without any issue at all. All you have to do maintenance wise is to give it a clean every now and again!
uPVC is completely water resistant and it is fire resistant. uPVC is also completely recyclable at the end of its long lifetime, making it one of the more environmentally friendly building materials. Builders and tradespeople love to use uPVC as it is lightweight, durable, easy to work with, and cost effective.
Of course, uPVC can also be a very aesthetically appealing material, especially when it is designed to be visible as it is in doors, windows, and cladding. It comes in an attractive painted timber look finish that is usually white or ivory but advances in technology means that more and more colours are now available. You may even be able to get it a natural timber finish.