Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a common polymer used in countless applications from pipes, to flooring, and electrical insulation.  As one of the world’s most widely produced polymers, it is very much a commodity polymer where tight margins mean little room for detailed analysis.  However, even in this case, high level analytical tools can be used to characterize the polymer for appropriate grading.  For example, the glossiness of a PVC sample has a significant effect on its finish and grade, and for which applications it can be used.  Applying appropriate characterization tools can help grade different PVC batches, assigning them to appropriate applications to maximize the value of high quality batches, saving lower grades for others.

In this application note, four PVC samples of known differences in glossiness were measured with both multi-detector GPC and rotational rheometry.  The results both explain the differences in glossiness and the likely cause of those differences.

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