Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated as PVC, is the third-most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene. PVC is used as construction because this is cheaper and stronger than the traditional alternatives such as copper or ductile iron. It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this form, it is used in clothing and upholstery, electrical cable insulation, inflatable products and many applications in which it replaces rubber.
Pure Polyvinyl Chloride without any plasticizer is a white, brittle solid. It is insoluble in alcohol, but slightly soluble in tetrahydrofuran.