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History of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

The world's most versatile plastic had a rather humble beginning. Polyvinyl chloride was first discovered in the late nineteenth century. Scientists observing the newly created chemical gas, vinyl chloride, also discovered that when the gas was exposed to sunlight, it underwent a chemical reaction (now recognized as polymerization) resulting in an off-white solid material. But, the solid material was so difficult to work with that it was cast aside in favor of other materials.

A rubber scientist, Waldo Semon during the early 1920s, stumbled onto a new material with fantastic properties during his search for a synthetic adhesive. This versatile material was called polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.

Soon after his discovery, PVC-based products such as insulated wire, raincoats and shower curtains hit the market. As more uses for vinyl were discovered, industry developed more ways to produce and process the new plastic.

Today, vinyl is the second largest-selling plastic in the world, and the industry employs more than 100,000 people in the Pakistan alone. Vinyl's low cost, versatility and performance make it the material of choice for dozens of industries such as health care, communications, aerospace, automotive, retailing, textiles and construction.

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