Understanding PVC Melting Point 

Table of Contents

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most widely used synthetic polymers. Half of its content consists of chlorine. PVC is produced by polymerization of the vinyl chloride monomer. There are two types of PVC, rigid and flexible. 

It was first synthesized in the 19th century, but its commercial potential wasn’t fully realized until the 20th century. Advancements in polymerization techniques today allow for the mass production of PVC with desirable properties and for different applications.

PVC is composed of a long chain of vinyl chloride molecules. These molecules consist of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine. Its chemical formula is C2H3CL. The melting point of PVC ranges between 100 C to 200 C. 

The melting point of PVC is very important in defining its processing conditions. To understand this better we will look into the properties of PVC, its processing, and the different applications in various industries.

PVC Melting Point 2

PVC structure (Image Source: Bratanicca)

Key Properties of PVC

PVC is a polymer that is made of vinyl chloride monomer units (CH2=CHCL). These units join through polymerization to form long-chain molecules.  Here are some of the key properties that impact its widespread use in industries.

Melting Temperature

The melting temperature of PVC ranges between 100C to 260C under varying conditions. This influences its processing and determines the temperature condition for shaping different products during manufacturing processes like injection molding.

Tensile Strength

PVC exhibits a high tensile strength. This can vary depending on factors such as presence of additives, processing techniques and the molecular weight of the monomer. Rigid PVC tends to have higher tensile strength compared to flexible PVC formulation. 

The high tensile strength makes it suitable for applications that require structural integrity and resistance to mechanical stress.

Specific Gravity

This is the measure of a material density relative to the density of water. For PVC, this ranges between 1.3 to 1.4 making it denser than other common polymers. This contributes to its durability and stability in various applications.

Understanding PVC Melting Temperature

The melting point of PVC is the temperature range at which PVC transitions from a solid to a molten state. The temperature range is between 100 C to 260C. The melting temperature varies depending on the additive used and the processing techniques incorporated.

Rigid PVC formulations have higher melting temperatures compared to flexible PVC formulations. Plasticizers found in rigid PVC are few which lowers the melting point. Additives such as heat stabilizers alter the polymer’s thermal properties and affect its processing characteristics.

The melting temperature is very crucial for determining the processing method to use to produce products. Common processing methods include injection molding, thermoforming, and extrusion. 

It also has a great impact on tensile strength, hardness, and flexibility. Higher temperatures result in high-strength properties due to better molecular alignment.

PVC thermal conductivity increases with temperature. This can impact the heat transfer characteristics of the products and their resistance to thermal deformation. The density is relatively stable but may vary under different processing conditions and additives.

PVC’s Chemical Composition and Molecular Weight 

Polyvinyl chloride is composed of vinyl chloride monomer units (CH2=CHCL). The chloride monomer units are linked together through covalent bonds to form polymer chains. These greatly contribute to PVC’s chemical and physical properties. 

These groups increase intermolecular forces, strengthening secondary bonds and hydrogen bonding. The high melting temperature of PVC requires specific conditions during manufacturing. Controlled heating is needed to avoid degradation.

The molecular weight is an important factor that influences the melting temperature and properties of PVC. Higher molecular weight PVC exhibits better thermal stability, tensile strength, and hardness due to strong intermolecular bonds. 

This improves resistance to heat deformation and degradation at high temperatures. It also improves the mechanical properties making them suitable for structural applications requiring strength and durability.

However, they require more processing temperature and longer processing time. Lower molecular weight PVC has reduced melting temperature and improved flexibility making it preferred for applications such as flexible tubing.

Applications of PVC Based on Melting Point 

The processing techniques and conditions are affected by the melting point of PVC, hence this plays a crucial role in determining its application. Below are some applications based on the melting point.

Rigid PVC

It is characterized by its high melting point. It is widely used across various industries due to its durability, strength, and chemical resistance. Its application includes:

  • Pipes and fitting: Commonly used for the manufacture of pipes and fitting in plumbing, irrigation, and drainage systems. Its chemical resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures make it suitable for this application.
  • Window profiles: Rigid PVC’s high melting point makes it suitable for the manufacture of window frames and profiles. They offer weather resistance and thermal insulation properties.
  • Roofing membranes: It is utilized in flat roofing applications due to their durability and chemical resistance. The high melting point ensures long-term performance and weather resistance.

Flexible PVC

It is known for its lower melting point. It is preferred for applications that need flexibility and softness. These applications include: 

  • Medical devices and equipment: Flexible PVC is used in the healthcare industry for manufacturing devices such as IV bags, catheters, and tubing. Its low melting point allows for easy processing and shaping.
  • Wire and cable insulation: It is used for insulation in electrical wires and cables due to its good insulation properties. The low melting point facilitates the coating process required.
  • Automotive components: It is used in several automotive applications such as door seals and interior trim. The low melting point facilitates the production of durable and flexible components that can withstand vibrations and temperature fluctuation.
PVC Melting Point 3

Flexible PVC pipe (Image Source: Depositphotos) 

Processing Conditions and Manufacturing Implications

It is important to understand the influence of processing conditions and environmental factors that affect PVC melting point in order to optimize the manufacturing process. Some of these factors are. 

Heat Rate

The heating rate affects the rate of energy transfer to the PVC material. A high heating rate may lead to localized overheating and thermal degradation, while a low heating rate promotes uniform heating. Proper heat rate monitoring and control are essential in enhancing product quality and safety.


Pressure affects PVC melting temperature by altering the molecular packing. Higher pressure leads to increased molecular alignment while lower pressure allows for greater molecular mobility. Optimizing pressure conditions during PVC processing is crucial to achieve the desired properties and product quality.

Environmental Factors

An example of an environmental factor that affects PVC melting point is UV radiation. This accelerates the degradation of PVC material changing its thermal properties. UV stabilizers and coating can be used in PVC formulation to reduce the effects of UV radiation and enhance product durability and safety.

Rigid PVC

This is a type of polymer that is characterized by its stiffness, great strength, and durability. The following are some characteristics of rigid PVC.

  • High chemical resistance: It has good resistance to acids, bases, and other chemicals making it suitable for various industrial applications.
  • Rigidity: It has rigid properties, making it suitable for applications that require structural integrity and support.
  • Weatherbility: Rigid PVC has good weathering properties making it preferred for outdoor applications where there is exposure to sunlight and other harsh conditions.
  • Flame retardant: It is fire resistant, which makes it suitable for use in electrical applications for insulation..
  • Strength: Rigid PVC offers good mechanical strength, resisting deformation under stress.

Uses of Rigid PVC

Rigid PVC is used in various sectors including: 

1. Construction

It is widely used in the construction industry in making window profiles, door frames, and roofing materials.

2. Piping systems

Rigid PVC is used for water supply, irrigation, and drainage systems due to its corrosion resistance and durability properties.

3. Packaging 

Another application of PVC is that it is used in the packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and consumer goods. 

4. Automotive

Interior trim components and dashboard panels in vehicles use rigid PVC in the formulation.

Challenges During PVC Processing

Rigid PVC has stiff melt flow characteristics making it challenging to process for application with complex geometry. Another challenge is poor thermal capability where overheating of rigid PVC can lead to degradation and reduced mechanical properties. 

Additive compatibility is where it is challenging to find a balance and compatibility between additive and PVC resin. The health and safety of workers are always at risk due to exposure to toxic compounds used in processing posing a challenge.

Comparison with Other Thermoplastics 

Let’s take a look at some other thermoplastics such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene(PP) and compare PVC melting points and properties with them. 

Melting Point 

In polyethylene (PE) the melting point varies depending on the type. Low-density polyethylene ranges between 105C to115C while high-density polyethylene ranges between 120C to 130C.

On the other hand, the melting point of polypropylene ranges from 130C to 171C depending on the grade. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABC) is another thermoplastic whose melting point ranges from 105C to 125C. 

From this, we can see that PVC has generally a higher melting point compared to these other thermoplastics.


PVC tends to be stiffer and stronger compared to PE but may be slightly less impact-resistant compared to ABS. It has excellent chemical-resistant properties better than PE, PP, and ABS. These other thermoplastics may require UV stabilizer for prolonged outdoor exposure unlike PVC, which has excellent weathering properties.

During processing some safety considerations must be put into account to mitigate risks. Some factors to consider are:

  • Ventilation systems: Install adequate ventilation systems in processing sections to ensure proper air circulation. This also ensures fumes generated during the process are extracted, reducing exposure to toxic substances.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Provide appropriate PPE such as gloves, goggles, and respiratory masks to minimize exposure to potential hazards associated with processing.
  • Temperature control systems: Ensure proper monitoring and control over the processing temperatures to prevent overheating and prevent thermal degradation of PVC.
  • Waste management: Incorporate proper waste management programs to reduce waste generation and proper waste disposal.
  • Regulatory compliance: Ensure that you abide by the relevant safety regulations and standards governing PVC processing.
  • Bio-based PVC: Develop PVC formulation from renewable resources such as plant-based sources. They offer environmental benefits such as reduced carbon footprint.
  • Use of green additive: Employ research and develop eco-friendly additives for PVC formulation to reduce toxins while maintaining product quality and performance.
  • Recyclable PVC: Develop PVC formulations that can be recycled at the end of their life cycle to avoid environmental pollution.

By implementing these measures in PVC processing you can reduce risks, environmental impact and promote sustainable development.

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PVC pipes (Image Source: Depositphotos) 


The melting temperature of PVC plays a crucial role in influencing its processing and application across various industries. Higher melting temperatures are suitable for applications that need structural integrity and heat resistance such as construction, while lower melting temperatures are suitable where flexibility and ease of processing are essential.

Proper control of temperature during processing is critical to ensure uniform melting and prevent thermal degradation. Proper control also promotes consistent product quality and performance. 

Through the use of thermo sensors, calibration, and quality control procedures you can accurately measure and control the melting temperature of PVC. This ensures optimal processing conditions and product performance. 


Gary Liao

Gary Liao

Gary Liao is the Engineering Manager of TDL Company and has more than 20 years of mold design experience.

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