5.3 Poly(vinyl chloride) Although PVC was reported as early as 1872, the polymer remained merely a laboratory curiosity for over 50 years. The principal reason for this was that the material could be processed in the melt only at temperatures where decomposition was appreciable. In 1928 commercial interest in PVC was revealed in patents filed independently in 1928 by Carbide and Carbon Chemical Corporation (USA), E. 1. du Pont de Nemours and Company (USA) and 1. G. Farbenindustrie (Germany). In each case the patents described vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymers which could be processed at temperatures not sufficiently high to cause serious decomposition. In 1930 B. F. Goodrich Chemical Company (USA) discovered an alternative approach when it was found that polyvinyl chloride) could be plasticized with high-boiling liquids like tritolyl phosphate to give material not unlike the copolymers. Thus the way was opened for the development of vinyl chloride polymers, and commercial production began in Germany and the USA in 1933. During the Second World War there was great
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