Familiar to anyone who knows PVC pipes, it's easy to see why they are used so widely around the world. PVC is a thermoplastic material with astonishing strength and rigidity. This material is particularly suited for piping systems as it does not rust or corrode and can withstand a range of common chemicals.
If you're familiar with PVC, you may also know that it now comes in a transparent form. These transparent PVC fittings are harder to come by than standard white or gray PVC. Where you do find it, transparent PVC is typically more expensive than standard PVC of the same size and schedule.
Why is that? On the one hand, tube transparent PVC is more scarce than white or gray piping. It also must be carefully manufactured, monitored, and packaged to maintain as much clarity as possible. Extra care must be taken to prevent scratching, as aesthetics are a real selling point. Some high-end PVC transparent tube is also manufactured to FDA approved standards.
You'll find transparent PVC piping systems used primarily in applications where visual monitoring or absolute cleanliness is required. Transparent plastic pipe allow laboratory, food processing, and other processing application users to closely monitor what is happening inside the pipe. In addition to institutional and industrial uses, transparent PVC fittings are also becoming increasingly popular for use in consumer special projects. These may include everything from fish tank setups to invention prototypes.
The most reliable source for high-quality transparent PVC is a trusted industrial supply distributor. These companies have close relationships with manufacturers and can usually give you the best deal. You may try your luck on smaller distributors for a more economical price, but the quality of the PVC may be poor. For example, many PVC touted as "transparent" actually have a deep blue tint, making it almost impossible to see inside the piping. Do your research before buying and ask about the color. All transparent PVC will have a slight blue tint, so be aware of this.
In addition, the sale of transparent PVC fittings is very similar to that of standard PVC piping and fittings. You may find a smaller selection of fixture sizes. If you're tight on a particular part, rest assured that transparent PVC is also compatible with standard white and gray PVC. It comes in 40 and 80 specifications, but the most common thickness is in the 40 specification. With nearly identical specifications as most PVC, transparent pipes and fittings can be used for most applications that use standard PVC.