PVC-U or uPVC
Several people not related to the double glazing industry have asked me why some of us refer to our products as PVC-U and others useuPVC. My answer was obviously along the ‘I’m not sure but I think both are acceptable’ line.
This may be a puzzling topic for many people within the industry, as well as those unaccustomed to the trials and tribulations of plastic namesakes. Especially for our US friends over the pond, who call the same material vinyl or vinyl siding.
uPVC is the original name for these products, which correlates with the full term: unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. This seems to be the most logical format for all to use, but there is more!
According to Tangram Technology Ltd., consulting engineers for plastics products, uPVC was changed to PVC-U in 1990 to conform to the international naming conventions for polymers, so that polymer databases would function properly.
The standard international name of any plastic is now in tow parts. The basic material name is given first and any special properties are given after a hyphen, with all letters in capital form.
The new correct form for this material, therefore, is PVC-U and not uPVC. If conforming to the above changes, PVC is the base polymer and the U refers to the unplasticised version of the PVC.
It may seem extremely unimportant and irrelevant, and probably is, but if you trawl the internet and visit any double glazing PVC-U sites you will see any number of letter combinations. A simple clarification will do.