What is PVC or uPVC?
Poly vinyl chloride refers to the resin used to produce vinyl, or can refer to the actual finished vinyl product after additives are included. PVC is also used interchangeably with the word vinyl. uPVC is the term used in many countries to refer to ultraviolet (UV)-protected PVC. All PVC, therefore, used to produce exterior vinyl products by reputable manufacturers is also uPVC.
What is Resin?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, resin is “any of a large class of synthetic products that have some of the physical properties of natural resins but are different chemically and are used chiefly in plastics.” There are several grades of PVC resin, from high-quality, window-grade resin to a lower-quality, commercial-grade resin. The poly vinyl chloride resin used in the production of Westech’s vinyl products is formulated to meet the industry’s highest standards.
What is TiO2?
Also known as titanium dioxide, it is the most commonly used compound used to provide UV protection. There are at least two grades of TiO2: uncoated (or chalking) grade and coated (or durable, non-chalking) grade. Coated TiO2 particles chalk at a much slower rate, providing a more lustrous finish over the life of the product it protects. Titanium dioxide is not noxious. In fact, it is used as a preservative and is also used to color baked goods, such as the popular white-powdered donuts!
What is vinyl?
Raw material, Additives Crude oil, natural gas and salt are the basic raw materials used in the production of poly vinyl chloride (PVC) resin. Westech’s vinyl compounds are formulated from premium grade raw materials and additives, including UV inhibitors, impact modifiers, stabilizers and toners. Westech’s proprietary formulations are built upon Westlake’s years of chemical and technical leadership.
What are Windload Calculations?
Mathematical calculations used in determining how well a product (such as fencing) will withstand a particular wind velocity (or windload) before failure may occur.
How is PVC manufactured?
The PVC manufacturing process: Ethylene and chlorine, nature-derived materials, are the basic chemicals utilized in manufacturing PVC. Ethylene is made from crude oil and natural gas; chlorine is made from salt. These gasses are chemically reacted to form ethylene dichloride (EDC). The EDC is heated (or cracked) to produce two gasses: hydrogen chloride (HCl) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). Vinyl chloride monomer is the basic building block used to manufacture poly vinyl chloride. The term poly means many. [This polymer is formed when] simple molecules, called monomers, are chained together to form a more complex molecule or polymer. Polymerization is the chemical reaction used to convert VCM into PVC resin. The PVC resin is blended with additives (such as stabilizers, pigments, processing aids, UV inhibitors and plasticizers) to produce powder- and pelletform compounds—from rigid PVC pipe (having no plasticizers) to very flexible products (including upholstery and wall coverings). [PVC and Fire, Vinyl Council of Canada.]
How is vinyl fencing made?
This can be explained via profiles and fabrication.
Profiles: Vinyl fencing originates as a PVC powder-form resin. When blended with the required additives, the formulation is fed into an extruder where it is formed into a malleable vinyl. This malleable vinyl is then fed through a die into the shape of the finished profile. While using vacuum technology to retain the malleable vinyl’s proper shape, water is introduced to cool the vinyl to its desired and final rigid state. [See Engineering/Technology.]
Fabrication: After profiling, a Westech fencing fabricator cuts a chosen profile to the proper length for the specific fence. Holes are then routed into the appropriate fence components (rails, posts, pickets) and assembled into fence sections or left unassembled for distribution. [See Distribution Strategy.]
How is a vinyl fence put together?
Most assembly of vinyl fencing is accomplished by snapping the rails into the posts, using rails that are tabbed with special tabbing (or notching) tool. Different fasteners may be used, depending on the styles of fence. Vinyl channels—often used in the fabrication of Privacy and Semi-Privacy styles— are attached using rivets or screws.
Can I paint my Westech vinyl?
Westech’s vinyl products are engineered to retain their beauty and good looks throughout their lifetime. Westech does not recommend painting vinyl (PVC). There are paints available for vinyl, should you wish to change the color of your Westech fence, but painting or otherwise treating our vinyl products will void the limited lifetime warranty.
Will Westech vinyl mildew?
Mildew feeds off organic materials. Vinyl (PVC) is non-organic and therefore does not support mildew. When mildew grows on vinyl, it actually feeds off the organic materials (e.g., dirt) that have become embedded in or stuck to the vinyl. Westech fence profiles have a high-gloss, smooth, non-porous surface, making it very difficult for organic material to attach and therefore does not promote the growth of mildew. The use of non-chalking TiO2 (titanium dioxide) further prevents most mildew. Vinyl fencing that contains chalking TiO2 deteriorates at a much faster rate when compared to non-chalking TiO2. It creates a rougher surface where dirt and mildew could attach more easily. Only under consistently damp conditions will the possibility of mildew occur. A mild solution of bleach and water will easily remove mildew that might appear over time.
Will Westech vinyl fence turn yellow?
Westech vinyl is formulated using a superior, durable-grade, non-chalking titanium dioxide (TiO2) that protects against the harmful UV rays of the sun. Keep your fence clean with a periodic washing from the garden hose and it will not yellow.
What effects does my vinyl fence have on the environment?
Westech vinyl products are safe and non-toxic to the environment. They will not break down to release harmful chemicals into the ground and do not require maintenance using toxic chemicals such as stains, waterproofing, paint, or paint thinner. No trees are used in the manufacture of Westech fences and several times the amount of wood needed to produce wood fence are actually saved due to the exceptionally long life of our fencing profiles. All Westech’s vinyl products can be recycled and used in other products such as garden hoses and watering cans.