The Whats and Hows of PVC Sheets

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Written by Maddie

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a production site, logistics centre, or medical facility, using hard-wearing and safe materials in your day-to-day operations is the single most influential factor when it comes to maintaining a secure and efficient workspace. Sometimes, this can take the form of metal or timber products, but for many applications, PVC sheeting is an equally valid option.

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What Are the Properties of PVC Sheets?

From a technical standpoint, PVC is short for Polyvinyl Chloride, a thermoplastic material derived from petrochemicals. It comes from a family of polymers that are available in a range of heat, pressure and chemical-resistant forms. As such, these panels have the following characteristics:

Lightweight and Durable

Given their specific composition, resilient and shock-resistant PVC sheets are a viable choice for any type of environment where they can be exposed to different elements. They can withstand heavy use and consistent movement on production sites, and warehouses as well as in industrial, residential and commercial applications.

Part of the reason PVC panels are so featherweight is due to their hollow core construction, which translates into easy-to-handle parts that don’t require a lot of space for storage. Even though the panels are very light, they are still incredibly strong and flexible, thanks to the material’s unique chemical chains. This includes resisting impact from sudden collisions and pressure, as well as dealing with vibrations and shocks.

Weather-Resistant and UV-Stabilised

When you’re a part of high-traffic and harsh environments, as well as the demanding nature of the medical sector, there’s always a risk of water, humidity or other corrosive agents affecting the products. Not only can this affect the structural integrity of the material, but it may also compromise hygiene standards.

With that said, there’s a certain level of protection implemented in PVC sheeting due to the highly analysed UV stabilising and weather-resistant formulation. Whenever the panel comes into contact with water, it bounces back and retains its shape almost instantly and without long-term damage.

Colour-Fastness and Aesthetic Appeal

Seeing as this material can be easily cast into different shapes and sizes, there is a myriad of colour options to choose from. This opens up the possibility of finding the right tones for a building’s interior and exterior without having to sacrifice key performance characteristics.

Easy to Install and Maintain 

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a full-on retrofit or just a few repairs, having things done promptly is a preferable outcome. No one wants to waste their time and money on long-winded and complex installation processes, which is why lightweight PVC panels are a practical solution.

Their panel format allows for fast and easy installation, oftentimes with a peel-and-stick application on the back. Furthermore, this type of material doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or expensive repair when it comes to scratches, tears and other physical damages. Most of the time, a quick swipe with a damp cloth is all it takes to make the panel look as good as new.

Applications of PVC Sheets in the Industrial and Commercial Sectors

So where exactly can these panels be used? How much of a difference can they make in the industrial and commercial sectors? As it turns out, they can be used for a wide range of applications, including:

Refrigeration and Insulation

This is a slightly more niche field of use, but businesses can use PVC to improve and maintain the temperature inside refrigerated containers. You can place them in between two layers of insulation, creating a barrier that keeps the cold air inside and prevents heat exchange.

The reason why this works is that these panels have a high insulation value, which means they can keep warm air out and preserve the cold temperatures inside. Whenever the temperature is too high, the container’s internal mechanisms can kick in and adjust itself accordingly.

Chemical Processing and Storage

In certain industries, storing and processing potentially hazardous chemicals is a necessary part of operations. Whether it’s storing them in tanks or transferring them through pipelines, you need to take proper steps to ensure the safety of both personnel and the environment.

That’s why PVC is such a suitable and highly demanded material for these types of applications. It’s chemical resistant, meaning it won’t corrode or dissolve in contact with the substances inside or outside the container. It’s also highly durable, so you don’t have to worry about it being damaged by chemicals or any other external forces.

Hygienic Wall Cladding

This is particularly significant for the medical and culinary sectors, where having a hygienic working environment is an integral part of operations. You can stick and arrange PVC sheets in a way that covers the walls of a room or even the sides of furniture that are subject to contact with food or medical equipment.

When placed in this manner, they can form a barrier that stops any moisture or dirt from sticking to the surface. This prevents contamination and keeps things looking clean and professional. If you don’t have the budget for a full remodel, this is a great way to make your kitchen and healthcare facilities look more presentable.

Plastic Packaging

And lastly, this material is a fantastic alternative to polystyrene foams in the production of plastic packaging. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with something fragile like medical equipment or something that needs to be kept cold, you can use PVC panels as the outer shell to give it extra protection.

To mould and shape the material for packaging, you’ll need to use a vacuum-forming machine. This pressurises the heated panel until it takes on the desired shape, creating a unique and customised plastic case that perfectly fits the product inside. It has great shock-absorbing properties and can keep items safe during long-distance transportation.

To Sum Up

As you can see, these sheets offer a range of benefits that make them a popular choice in various industries. They’re lightweight and durable, weather-resistant and UV-stabilized, colour-fast, easy to install and maintain, and can be used in a range of applications. With their unique properties and versatility, these sheets are a practical and cost-effective option for those looking to maintain a secure and efficient workspace. 

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