PVC represents polyvinyl chloride which is a popular and multipurpose thermoplastic. In applications of residential and commercial plumbing, it is used as a fitting and piping material.
There is another important material in the thermoplastic family that is known as chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). Let’s see the differences in pipe comparison of CPV vs PVC.
The names and offered product types are the same in both PVC and CPVC. However, CPVC is more resistant to pressure and heat; therefore, commercial industries highly demand it.
Quick Comparison Between PVC vs CPVC
- CPVC and PVC materials are similar in many things.
- CPVC has a high amount of chlorine compared to PVC.
- Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride is responsible for altering the plastic’s properties and chemical makeup.
- PVC is a low-cost and reliable material.
- Installation of PVC is easy, and you can install it without a professional.
Table of Contents
What is PVC?
Nowadays, in highly used plastics, PVC comes in the third number. Normally, its color is white and is hard, long-lasting, and fragrance-free. Today, it is the most demanding product in residential and industrial applications.
Unlike most plastics, PVC production does not depend on limited resources like fossil fuels. It is recycleable and can be altered to any condition. Also, it can be used with almost any type of chemical, and other materials cannot do so.
57% chlorine is present in PVC. Besides, more carbon and salt are released when it is set on fire or buried in the soil. Currently, it is not found dangerous for health.
Moreover, traditional metal pipes can be replaced with PVC pipes. Traditional metal pipes have a major drawback: they pollute the drinking water and corrode. They are also costly to maintain.
Manufacturers are trying to make a phthalate-free version of PVC. Various types of plastics are made for particular purposes, including CPVC. The situations where PVC does not work, CPVC can be used.
What is CPVC?
As its name shows redundancy, it explains the increased chlorine amount in PVC. Normally, industrial CPVC has 63% – 69% amount of chlorine. However, it’s able to contain 74% chlorine.
In higher temperatures, the CPVC chlorine molecules become rigid. Therefore, they are widely used in ductwork, applications traditionally harmful to plastics, and hot water piping.
CPVC can be used with PVC for fittings and pipes, but in different commercial settings, they can be used with other materials. As a material, the additional processing of CPVC makes it more expensive than PVC. However, it is more affordable than any outdated materials.
CPVC has commercial and industrial applications much more than PVC. Most of its residential applications include HVAC used like ventilation or plumbing.
CPVC vs PVC Comparison – Similarities and Differences
Similarities Between PVC and CPVC
- For easy verification, their technical features are written on their side.
- Both PVC and CPVC come in bell end and plain end.
- Both of these pipes are available in thickness of schedule 40 and schedule 80.
- For convenient water transport, they are considered safe.
- Significant chemical resistance is delivered by both PVC and CPVC.
- They are mainly unaffected by degradation from some inorganic chemicals, alkali, and acid.
- They require underground installation or UV stabilizers to protect them from worsening by sunlight.
- In plumbing applications, they both are cost-effective, easy to install, and are silent options that can be used in place of iron and copper pipes.
- As CPVC and PVC are thermoplastics, their insulation decreases the formation of condensation on the pipes and keeps hot and cold water temperatures satisfactory compared to copper pipes.
- They come in similar options of lengths and end shapes.
- Since halogen chlorine is present in their chemical composition, they have a stable and naturally redundant fire structure.
- Both PVC and CPVC have a long life and good performance because their stability prevents oxidation reactions.
- These pipes are easily recognized by their colors.
Difference Between PVC and CPVC
The main dissimilarity between the pipes of PVC and CPVC is the “c,” which affects the applications of CPVC and it stands for “chlorinated”. The second big difference is in price. Since PVC and cpvc are reasonable compared to copper or steel, CPVC costs are much higher than PVC.
Other dissimilarities such as limitations, size, and color determine the best piping for your project.
Differences in Chemical Makeup
The major difference cannot be seen from the outside but is present on the molecular level. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride is the chlorination process responsible for changing the plastic’s properties and chemical makeup.
Differences in Color
PVC and CPVC look the same from the outside. The only change that is visible from the outside is its color. The color of CPVC is cream-like, and PVC comes in white color.
Differences in Operating Temperatures
Two important factors can help you decide which material should be used; temperature and cost. Maximum operating temperatures of nearly 140 degrees Fahrenheit can be handled by PVC pipe.
Due to its chemical makeup, CPVC is unaffected by high temperatures, and maximum operating temperatures of nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit can be handled by CPVC.
Differences in Cost
Cpvc pipes become more costly due to the increased chlorine in the manufacturing process. PVC and CPVC’s exact price and quality depend on the particular company.
The heat resistance of CPVC will always be higher than PVC. Up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the material is not always harmless. Before installation, ensure to check the details of the pipe.
CPVC is normally picked as a material for hot water uses because it is more resistant to it. On the other hand, for cold water applications, such as drainage and irrigation, PVC is used.
If you cannot decide between PVC and CPVC for your next project, you must consider two important factors: cost and temperature.
Differences in Bonding Agents
Different bonding agents such as cement or primers are important to attach pipes and fittings, depending on the specifics or materials of a firm project.
These bonding agents are made for CPVC or PVC, so they cannot be used mutually between piping types.
Properties of CPVC vs PVC
Many properties of PVC and CPVC are the same. But in many other ways, the performance properties of CPVC are superior to PVCs.
As an alternative to traditional meta materials, thermoplastics are getting famous daily. The PVC market is expected to hit around $79 billion by 2021, and it was only $57 billion in 2015.
Metals are prone to scaling, pitting, and corrosion. Both PVC and CPVC are resistant to salts, bases, acids, and aliphatic hydrocarbons, unlike metals. This quality makes them long-lasting. The clear benefit of both of them is their chemical resistance.
However, they differ in chlorine content, and both materials have benefits. A high concentration of sulfuric acid is an example. CPVC is well-manufactured, so it is superior to PVC.
On the other hand, ammonia is extremely reactive with chlorine; therefore, PVC works better with ammonia and other amines because CPVC has an increased amount of chlorine.
Due to the increased chlorine content in CPVC, the Tg – glass transition temperature also increases. Tg is that point when the polymer loses its structural integrity by changing from glassy, hard material to a rubbery, soft substance.
The advanced temperature resistance of CPVC is shown in ASTM standards for each material. PVC’s maximum service temperature is approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 200 degrees Fahrenheit from CPVC.
To check the product’s separate operating capabilities, read its manufacturer’s label. CPVC can be used beyond the maximum service temperature than PVC, and its increased temperature resistance allows it to work better at PVC’s working range temperatures.
At 73 degrees Fahrenheit, PVC and CPVC test to a similar pressure ranking. But, CPVC keeps its pressure rating better when the temperature rises than PVC.
PVC material is resistant to significantly less pressure at higher temperatures than CPVC.
Thermoplastics provide a negative character to all thermoplastics like polyethylene and polypropylene, but they are not prone to melting and burning. Particularly, commercial CPVC is made to restrict flammability and smoke manufacture.
ASTM tests can measure flash ignition temperatures and limiting oxygen index (LOI).
Flash Ignition Temperatures
It is the lowest temperature at which a minor outside flame can burn adequate flammable gas. This can occur to CPVC at 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and too rigid PVC can happen at 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
Limiting Oxygen Index – LOI
It is the percentage of oxygen necessary in the nearby environment to withstand a flame. LOI of CPVC is 60, while that of PVC has 45. For example, the atmosphere of the earth has 21% oxygen.
Applications of PVC and CPVC
Uses of PVC
Since PVC is inexpensive and genuine material, anyone can install it without experience and high-cost workers. 50% of PVC is made for the construction industry worldwide.
Its cost-effectiveness and relative corrosion resistance make it best for low temperatures, and pressure plumbing uses, such as sanitary sewers, storm sewers, drinking water, and drainage.
Fabricated PVC sheets can be used as an alternative to other materials like wood. For this purpose, paint is often used to create a look of traditional materials. Its best examples are window sills, vinyl siding, window frames, flooring, and cabinet finishes.
Insulation of Electric Cable
PVC withstands fire and is cost-effective, so it is best to insulate electric cables with it. PVC makes them soft and flexible.
PVC sheets are usually used for signage because they are durable, inexpensive, and can be painted easily.
Uses of CPVC
As CPVC manufactures the powers of PVC, their applications are almost the same. When any application needs chemical resistance of CPVC or PVC, with challenging temperature and pressure, CPVC is the best option.
CPVC is a durable and problem-free solution used in many demanding industries for the harshest commercial atmospheres.
- It can steadfastly transport forceful chemicals at high temperatures without corrosion concern and under pressure.
- Without corrosion problems, it can transport chemicals in a very corrosive atmosphere.
- It can bear the stresses of valuable and raw material processing actions.
- Withstand high pressures and the harsh chemicals frequently used by power plants.
- Resistant to smoke and flame; therefore, it improves protection, increases effectiveness, and eliminates pollution in cleanrooms.
- While transporting the most aggressive disinfection chemicals, it destroys corrosion.
Commercial and Residential Plumbing
Plumbing applications need high temperature and pressure consistency; CPVC delivers a harmless, well-organized, and flexible system that withstands pitting, bacteria buildup, and scaling.
- Single-story office buildings and restaurants
- Shopping malls and multi-story office buildings
- Schools, colleges, universities
- Medical complexes, clinics, and hospitals
- Hotels, condos, lodges, and apartments that have six stories or less
- Lodges, apartments, and hotels which buildings have structures of seven stories or more.
Commercial and Residential Fire Sprayers
As CPVC is resistant to smoke and flame, its simple joining method makes it perfect for different residential applications.
- Mobile homes and separate houses
- Buildings with four stories or less, such as hotels, condos, multi-apartment buildings, and lodges.
- Buildings with five stories and more structures, like condos, apartment complexes, and hotels.
CPVC vs PVC – Which Should be Used?
Decide which should be used; depends on the particular need for each project. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the qualities of each material. Though they work similarly, you can find the best option by understanding a few things.
- Exposure of pipes to any heat type
- Requirement of pipe size for your project
- Materials cost
When you understand these things, it becomes easy to understand which material should be picked. If the pipes you use have to be exposed to heat, you must select CPVC because it withstands high heat.
In many cases, the high cost of CPVC does not deliver any advantages. For example, PVC is ideal for vent, drainage, irrigation, and cold water systems. As CPVC is more costly and does not deliver anything additional, PVC is the ideal choice.
Is This Possible to Use PVC and CPVC Together?
You can combine PVC and CPVC, but they need different adhesives. Also, combining them may create a problem for your system. They both have different temperatures and pressure rankings which can create leaks and other issues while using.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Which Material is Good, CPVC or PVC?
CPVC is a durable and firm thermoplastic material used for cold and hot water applications for housing construction. Due to its makeup, it withstands highly chlorinated domestic water and can bear high temperatures compared to PVC.
What are the Drawbacks of CPVC Pipes?
- CPVC pipe is fragile and cannot hold higher temperatures like copper can.
- Its thermal expansion constant is extremely high.
What will Happen if PVC Glue is Used on CPVC?
PVC glue can be used on CPVC, but using the correct solvent cement for the specific application is recommended.
Is PVC and CPVC Identical?
Most of the properties of CPVC vs PVC are identical, but CPVC has additional chlorine material. It is more durable and resistant to hot and cold water under high temperatures and pressure.
Can We Use All-Purpose Cement for CPVC?
All-purpose cement is milky-white and has low VOC that can be used to weld all types of CPVC pipes and fittings of nearly 6 inches.
You have learned the similarities and differences in this article by reading CPVC vs PVC pipe comparison. PVC is resistant to oxidation and degradation, while CPVC withstands high pressure and temperature. It is more flexible and long-lasting.
CPVC has many advantages but is more costly, so if you only need drainage systems, vent systems, cold water systems, or irrigation systems, then PVC should be chosen.
I hope the comparison between PVC vs CPVC will be helpful for you.