Polyvinyl chloride also known as polyvinyl or vinyl, commonly abbreviated PVC, is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a widely used plastic containing carbon, hydrogen and chlorine. It is produced by the process of polymerisation. Molecules of vinyl chloride monomers combine to make long chain molecules of polyvinyl chloride. This synthetic polymer is relatively cheap and easy to mould. There are different types of PVC that are manufactured, serving a range of uses from underground pipes carrying water, gas and sewage to thinner films used in packaging. PVC comes in two basic forms: rigid (sometimes abbreviated as RPVC) and flexible. The rigid form of PVC is used in construction for pipe and in profile applications such as doors and windows. It is also used in making bottles, non-food packaging, and cards (such as bank or membership cards). It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this form, it is also used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, imitation leather, signage, phonograph records, inflatable products, and many applications where it replaces rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, with minor impurities of other organic compounds, plus water. Rubber is an example of an elastomer type polymer, where the polymer has the ability to return to its original shape after being stretched or deformed. The rubber polymer is coiled when in the resting state. The elastic properties arise from the its ability to stretch the chains apart, but when the tension is released the chains snap back to the original position. Malaysia and Indonesia are two of the leading rubber producers. Forms of polyisoprene that are used as natural rubbers are classified as elastomers. Currently, rubber is harvested mainly in the form of the latex from the rubber tree or others. The latex is a sticky, milky colloid drawn off by making incisions in the bark and collecting the fluid in vessels in a process called "tapping". The latex then is refined into rubber ready for commercial processing. In major areas, latex is allowed to coagulate in the collection cup. The coagulated lumps are collected and processed into dry forms for marketing.
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