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Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a thermoplastic polymer produced by the polymerization of vinyl chloride, and has replaced rubber in many applications. It is lighter and less expensive than rubber, and contains less petroleum than most other polymers. PVC hose is tubing made from PVC material.
PVC was first discovered in the late 1800’s when the gas vinyl chloride was exposed to sunlight and changed to a solid through a process now known as polymerization. Little was done with this hard plastic until the 1920’s when alternatives to rubber were being researched. PVC was incorporated into a number of domestic products at that time, such as golf balls and waterproof materials, and in World War II, it replaced rubber as wire installation on US military ships. After the war, the use of PVC expanded, and it has now become a significant component in the construction industry.
PVC hose became popular in the 1960’s and is commonly found in agriculture, manufacturing, the food industry, construction, and everyday household products. Farmers use screw suction and steel suction PVC hose to spread fluids and chemicals, for irrigation lines, and as transfer hoses for grains, feeds, powders, gas and fuel. Hydraulic PVC hose can be found in machine shops and manufacturing plants. For high pressure applications, PVC hose may be reinforced with wire.
Some types of PVC hose include lay flat hose, steel wire braided hose, suction hose and rubber lined fire hose. The everyday garden hose, bathroom shower hose and the spray attachment on the kitchen sink are also made from PVC. Automobiles use PVC hose to vent pressure in the crankcase, which prevents the oil from blowing out seals. Steel wire reinforced hosing is corrosion and static resistant, making it a good choice for conveying high pressure or explosive gases and liquids. It can also be used with heavy suction for delivering liquid sludge, and is found in the chemical, automotive and construction industries.
PVC braid reinforced hose is found in agriculture, fishery, engineering and household items for conveying fluids such as water, lye, oil and acids, as well as gases such as oxygen and coal gas. Food and sanitation equipment, machinery, and water appliances are often equipped with soft, clear, light flexible hosing. PVC hose has been designed to transfer fluids used in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and has received FDA and USDA approval. A wide variety of fittings, couplings, clamps, unions, risers and connectors are available to assist with hose installation in any application.