What is PVC made of
PVC floor coverings belong to the group of elastic coverings. The floor coverings, also known as vinyl, consist mainly of polyvinyl chloride, a thermoplastic material that is composed of 43% carbon and hydrogen from petroleum products and 57% of the common salt component chlorine. The addition of plasticizers gives the actually hard and brittle material its soft properties. Further components are various additives and fillers, which are responsible for the resistance and the specific properties such as its resistance to light and weather influences.
Along with linoleum, PVC is one of the oldest flexible floor coverings. Developed in 1853, it was first manufactured industrially in 1912. The manufacturing process was patented only one year later, and PVC has been manufactured on an industrial scale since 1937. Today, with a share of around 15%, it is one of the most important materials for floor coverings. In addition, it is processed into window profiles, pipes, cable insulation and sheathing, among other things.
The covering is available in the form of strips, tiles and slabs / planks, is considered very hard-wearing, easy to lay, waterproof and inexpensive. Since PVC can be colored very well, the spectrum of colors, textures, patterns and effects is almost limitless.
They are manufactured with and without a carrier layer, foamed and calendered (rolled), as a single or multi-layer covering. Jute, polyester or fiberglass fleece, cork or foam are used as carrier material. Depending on the structure and material of the carrier layer, the European standards differentiate between:
- Homogeneous and heterogeneous, flexible PVC floor coverings without a sub-layer according to DIN EN ISO 10581
- PVC floor coverings with a backing either made of polyester fleece or jute or a combination of polyester fleece and PVC according to DIN EN 650
- PVC floor coverings with a foam base layer in accordance with DIN EN 651
- PVC floor coverings with a cork-based back according to DIN EN 652
- Foamed PVC floor coverings according to DIN EN ISO 26986
- PVC flex sheets according to DIN EN ISO 10595
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