Vinyl Material Industry Applications – Freeman Schwabe Presses

Vinyl is the world’s most versatile plastic, and is converted in a variety of different industries using Freeman Schwabe die cutting presses.

Here we review Vinyl (polyvinyl chloride or PVC), which is used to make everything from food wrap to auto body parts.

What is Vinyl?

Vinyl is composed of two simple building blocks: chlorine, based on common salt, and ethylene, from crude oil.
The resulting compound, ethylene dichloride, is converted at very high temperatures to vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) gas. Through the chemical reaction known as polymerisation, VCM becomes a chemically stable powder, polyvinyl chloride resin.[Reference:]

Manufacturing Scrap

A significant amount of vinyl scrap (coming from polymer manufacturers and plastic processors) is collected and recycled. Overall, more than 99 percent of all manufactured vinyl compound ends up in a finished product, due to widespread post-industrial recycling.


Vinyl is often referred to as the “infrastructure plastic,” and with good reason. Approximately 70 percent of PVC is used in building and construction applications. Vinyl is used so widely in the construction industry because of its durability, easy installation and cost-effectiveness.[Vinyl Institute]


Vinyl plays a critical role in helping make modern modes of transportation safe, easy to maintain, cost effective and of high quality, while also reducing their impact on the environment.

Among the uses for vinyl in cars, planes, buses and trains are body side moldings, windshield system components, interior upholstery and flooring, under-the-hood electrical wiring, under-the-car abrasion coatings, floor mats; adhesives and sealants; other components such as dashboards, tray tables and arm rests.


Without doubt, the materials used in electrical applications like building and communications wire, fiber optic cabling and conduit must attain high standards of reliability and safety. Vinyl is the material used most frequently in wire and cable insulation and jacketing, as well as in rigid nonmetallic (NM) conduit and cable management systems.


For more than 50 years, vinyl’s performance and protectiveness have made it a critical material in such health care products and procedures as blood and intravenous bags, kidney dialysis and blood transfusions, cardiac catheters and endotracheal tubes. These products are regulated for safety by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Floor Covering

Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is a finished flooring material used primarily in commercial and institutional applications. Modern vinyl floor tiles and sheet flooring and versions of those products sold since the early 1980s are composed of colored  polyvinyl chloride(PVC) chips formed into solid sheets of varying thicknesses (1/8″ is most common) by heat and pressure. Floor tiles are cut into modular shapes such 12″ x 12″ squares or 12″ x 24″ rectangles. In installation the floor tiles or sheet flooring are applied to a smooth, leveled sub-floor using a specially formulated vinyl adhesive or tile mastic that remains pliable.[]

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is an industry term, not a standard, for vinyl that realistically mimics the appearance of natural materials with an added layer to improve wear and performance. The extra layer of protection is usually a heavy film covered with a UV-cured urethane that makes it scuff, stain and scratch resistant. Sometimes the term “luxury vinyl tile” is reserved for products that mimic stone and ceramic, whereas the term “luxury vinyl plank” is used for products that mimic wood.

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