Polyvinyl chloride is a widely used thermoplastic polymer, which means it turns liquid when heated extremely and returns to a glassy state when cooled sufficiently. More than half of the world's PVC is used to produce transparent PVC pipes for industrial use. Advantages of PVC pipe include a high strength-to-weight ratio, and low reactivity to many materials. While most PVC in the world is opaque, some of it is transparent. In addition to the advantages of regular PVC pipe, clear PVC pipe has its own set of advantages, including the ability to see through the pipe and monitor the process at all times.
Like all PVC pipes, clear PVC pipes are very strong yet still light in weight. This means that installation and shipping costs are often lower than traditional plumbing materials. With lighter weight PVC pipes, workers are less likely to injure themselves. For example, a worker can easily carry two 20-foot 4-inch PVC pipes. On the other hand, the same person would have a hard time carrying the same five-foot piece of iron pipe.
Clear PVC pipes are also highly resistant to most types of chemical reactions. One of the most common chemical reactions in most pipes is corrosion. Since PVC pipes do not conduct electricity, they do not run the risk of rusting like many other types of pipe materials. Other chemicals commonly found in households can react badly with certain metals. Clear PVC pipe resists most chemical reactions at temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Clear PVC pipes are also more flexible than traditional plumbing solutions such as iron or lead. The pipe is rigid enough to stand upright. Still, clear PVC pipes can be bent under heavy loads without breaking. This helps when the pipe has to withstand occasional increased loads. Another situation where the flexibility of clear PVC pipe is useful is when the pipe is buried in the ground and has to deal with frequent soil movement or vibration.
One of the important features of transparent PVC pipe is that it can be seen through. Any process that requires visual monitoring can benefit from clear PVC piping. Instead of opening the plumbing system, technicians can view pipes and monitor the process. For example, most PVC pipes are used in plumbing applications. Clear PVC pipes allow plumbers to view blockages or backups without using any additional machinery or workmanship.