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What Is CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride)?

Various Uses of CPVC

CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) is a sturdy, stiff vinyl thermoplastic featuring excellent corrosion resistance even at high temperatures. With its ability to be machined, manufactured, and welded, along with its chemical resistance, flame resistance, and exceptional tensile strength, CPVC is a product that may be used in various applications and industries that demand high-temperature resistance. For example, companies that engage in chemical processing and material handling can profit from using CPVC.

Characteristics of CPVC vs. PVC

The key distinction between CPVC and regular PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is CVPC’s higher temperature resistance. While it’s true that the names and even the appearance of the two products are similar, CPVC and PVC differ significantly in several other important ways.

CPVC Is More Durable and Longer-Lasting

CPVC is significantly more resistant to corrosion and deterioration than PVC due to its chemical composition, but it is also better for applications requiring greater temperatures. 140° F is the highest operating temperature for PVC. Over that point, the plastic begins to soften and loses its shape, which might cause leaks. However, CPVC can withstand temperatures up to 200° F before it starts to weaken.

CPVC and PVC respond to chemicals in different ways, as well. As a result, CPVC is better suited for more chemical applications, although you should note that the solvents and primers used to bond these materials are different from those used for PVC.

CPVC Is Strong, Flexible, and Chemical-Resistant

While both CPVC and PVC are sturdy, impact-resistant, and slightly flexible, CPVC comes out ahead in overall performance.

CPVC is made resistant to chemicals and deterioration during production, giving it a long lifespan. Due to the likelihood of chemicals and high temperatures in many commercial and industrial applications, CPVC can be of greater benefit with more reliable use and long life.

Additionally, CPVC is more flexible than some traditional piping materials, such as copper or cast iron. Due to its flexibility, it is simple to work with and has some give when coming into contact with imperfectly positioned joints. CPVC’s elasticity also makes it more impact-resistant, enhancing its durability further.

CPVC Is a Choice Material For Plumbing Products

While manufacturers utilize PVC in many consumer items, CPVC is primarily used in plumbing applications in facilities where chemical and heat resistance are essential.

Commercial- or industrial-grade liquid distribution pipes and the fittings are usually made of CPVC. CPVC pipes accomplish many of the same tasks once fulfilled by copper or cast iron pipes and are now frequently used in their place. CPVC can also be used as vent piping, but only for air temperatures below 200° F.

Different Types of CPVC Pipes

CPVC pipes come in various diameters, but before selecting your CPVC pipes, you should understand how diameters are measured. PVC is offered in nominal sizes or NPS (nominal pipe size). CPVC comes in both nominal widths, like PVC and copper tube sizes (CTS). NPS is listed by the size of the interior diameter of the pipe, and CTS goes by the size of the outside diameter of the pipe.

Additionally, CPVC is offered in Schedule 40 and Schedule 80, which designate the pipe’s wall thickness. Although they are equally resistant to chemicals and heat, Schedule 40 is thinner than Schedule 80, giving it somewhat less strength but a little more flexibility. Additionally, CPVC is offered in three colors: off-white, light gray, and yellow.

Other Uses For CPVC

CPVC pipes are not limited to manufacturing and commercial facilities. CPVC is also an excellent option for home plumbing applications since it performs admirably as a potable water distribution pipe.

Although there aren’t many home building regulations that demand CPVC, it’s an excellent material for residential settings because of how long-lasting and sturdy it is. The cost is the only potential downside. CPVC can sometimes cost six times as much as PVC. Because of this, many plumbers and do-it-yourselfers only use it for the pipes that distribute hot water, leaving PVC piping to handle the cold water.

Most plumbing codes recognize both types.

For applications involving food and drinking water, CPVC products are rated and authorized as non-toxic when manufactured in accordance with federal regulations and independent authority standards, such as those set by the FDA, NSF, ANSI, AWWA, and ASTM.

CPVC At Piedmont Plastics

Piedmont Plastics offers standard and custom-size sheet, rod, and tube forms of CPVC at all of its 50+ North American locations.

To learn more about how CPVC can benefit your project or facility, contact us, and we’ll put you in touch with one of our knowledgeable materials specialists to help you choose the best material for your needs.