Like many great things in life, Polyvinyl Chloride – PVC – was first created thanks to multiple and accidental discoveries in different places at different times during the 19th century. However, it was not until 1913 that Friedrich Heinrich August Klatte from Germany became the first inventor to receive a patent for PVC with a polymerization method for vinyl chloride using sunlight.
Over the next decades, many more companies started to produce PVC and volumes increased dramatically around the world. Developers quickly found further, innovative uses and refined manufacturing methods to improve durability, opening the door to applications in the construction sector.
PVC’s century of history has not been without controversy. Twenty years ago PVC came under the spotlight due to concerns about the way it was produced and disposed of. Scientific investigations and the implementation of new industry initiatives have helped to reassure users and consumers. In addition, Life Cycle Assessment and eco-efficiency studies have showed that for many applications, PVC’s environmental performance is comparable to or even better than alternative materials.