The Manufacturing of Vinyl
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Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl compound is chiefly made from two basic substances - Salt and Crude Oil. The salt is used to obtain chlorine through a process called electrolytic disassociation of salt. The crude oil, petroleum, or natural gas, is used to obtain Ethylene.
In a process called 'cracking', the petroleum is passed through high heat and pressure, as a result of which the petroleum is broken down into ethylene, butadiene, propylene, and other by-products. Through further process, the other by-products are separated and only ethylene remains, which is then used to manufacture Vinyl.
Once the chlorine and ethylene are obtained, the manufacturing procedure of Vinyl is started, which is made up of three main steps.
The Monomer Process
In this step, the ethylene and chlorine are united with each other, using one out of two procedures. Either Direct Chlorination (where pure chlorine and ethylene are used), or Oxychlorination (where ethylene reacts with chlorine in hydrogen chloride) are the two processes used.
This combination of ethylene and chlorine yields a liquid (at room temperature) called Ethylene Dichloride (EDC). The EDC so produced is then put through the cracking process and this results in the formation of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM). VCM is a gas at normal room temperature and is then converted into Vinyl.
The Process of Polymerization
In this step, the VCM is polymerized and converted into Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Several processes can be used for the polymerization of VCM, such as suspension process, mass process, and the emulsion process.
Either of these processes yields vinyl resin as the final material. The vinyl resin is in the form of a powder. The vinyl resin, by itself, is not useful. Through the final step of vinyl compounding, it is transformed into a substance that has many uses.
Compounding of Vinyl
The vinyl resin has to be compounded before it can be used. The resin is mixed with various additives and modifiers to produce vinyl compound. The additives and modifiers that are used in compounding will depend on what application the vinyl is needed for, and how flexible or rigid the vinyl should be.
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