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Why PVC Windows?

It is of course the polymers that are one of the indispensable substances used in daily life. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is an important member of this vast family of polymers and, a modern synthetic (artificial) material. PVC made of two natural resources: petroleum and salt was one of the plastics commercially developed. Today, PVC has a wide area of use in modern life from toys, water collection and distribution pipes, production of bottlers and bags, various sports materials, automobile upholstery and wiper systems, windows profiles, batteries, electric isolation materials to cables, credit cards, food containers, blood bags, serum tubes, surgical gloves, heart catheters and other medical devices.

The reason why PVC is widely used in all fields of our life and windows profiles are because of the following basic features it has:

Robustness and lightness: PVC materials are more durable and functional compared to the wooden and aluminum materials used in the production of window profiles and doors. PVC’s wear resistance, lightness and good mechanical resistance as well as toughness are very important technical advantages during the building and construction applications.

Fire resistance: PVC is naturally hard to ignite since its polymer chain contains chlorine atoms; i.e. its flash point is high. Fire ceases immediately after the removal of heat source. This makes PVC suitable especially for the windows, doors, coverings etc. On the other hand, wooden materials are easy to burn and carry the fire.

Longevity: Before making any products from PVC materials, PVC is companied with a series of special additives. These additives determine the mechanical characteristics, brightness, resistance to weather conditions, color, clarity and electrical features of the final product.

PVC is resistant to weather conditions, chemical corrosion, shocks and wear. Because of these features, it is preferred by users for such products exposed to open air and, in such locations requiring longevity for different reasons. For example, 75% of PVC pipes is estimated to have a life of more than 40 years (up to 100 years as a potential). Research carried out for window profiles and cable insulation etc. suggests that more than 60% thereof has a life of more than 40 years. Wooden has on the other hand a short life.

Economy: PVC’s lightness, robustness and design flexibility provide price advantages for many applications. PVC components used in construction offer great price/performance advantages. PVC does not require any maintenance and paint unlike wood. PVC is durable and, suitable for such applications, for which no maintenance is required for a long period. PVC’s manufacturing and usage costs are far lower than aluminum and wood.

Environment friendly: Impact of PVC on environment is found positive compared to other materials used in the production of window profiles and doors in some assessments and independent research considering the lifecycle from the production to end of useful life and, the level of impact on environment during this lifecycle. All products made of PVC, a recyclable material, may be formed again and again to become another final product.

Good insulator: PVC materials’ heat transmission coefficient are better, i.e. lower compared to wooden and aluminum materials used in the production of window profiles and doors. (λPVC= 0,16 W/mK, λALUMINUM= 200 W/mK and λWOOD= 0,20 W/mK). Therefore, PVC is the best materials used in the production of window profiles and doors in terms of energy saving. In addition to heat insulation, PVC is a real insulation material against sound, moisture and similar external effects.

Versatile: PVC’s physical features provide the designers with a high level of freedom during the design stage. Therefore, PVC is widely used in all fields of our life from construction, packaging, medicine to electric, electronic and automotive industries.

Reusability: Construction materials made of PVC such as pipes, window profiles and floor coverings may be reused at the end of their useful lives. With these feature, PVC provides significant contribution to environment and economy.

Comparison between PVC and Aluminum Windows in Terms of Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint is a term that describes the amount of carbon caused by each human to be emitted to atmosphere during transportation, heating, energy consumptions etc. or during the manufacturing stages of all types of products purchased. In other words, the total amount of carbon gases emitted to atmosphere during the generation of energy required for each product bought or each activity performed.

The effect of climate change lasting for millions of years due to natural processes is now increased and, becomes more dangerous due to environmental pollution caused by humans. It is of course the duty of each person and corporation to transfer clean and healthful environment inherited from past to the next generations.

Accordingly, it has now become our duty to make efforts to calculate and decrease carbon footprint for the purpose of showing our awareness to environment and climate and, contributing to precautions taken against environmental pollution.

Carbon footprint calculates the amount of greenhouse emission produced due to a business or an activity widely describing the potential of global warming. CO2 is calculated in terms of kilograms or tons.

Research carried out for carbon footprint comparison calculated the energy consumption of PVC and Aluminum window frames with the same type and size during the stages of production of raw materials to installation and, the amount of CO2 emission in kg. It showed that the carbon footprint of PVC window frames was 248.8 CO2 while the carbon footprint of Aluminum window frames was 485.9 CO2. Accordingly, it was concluded that the carbon footprint of Aluminum window frames is 2 times the carbon footprint of PVC window frames.

In addition, the heat insulation performance of the window made of PVC profiles is higher. Therefore, it provides savings on heating energy during the winter time and, savings on air conditioning during the summer time. As another factor, the energy consumed for recycling PVC windows is far less than the energy consumed for recycling Aluminum windows.

Considering all these facts, PVC windows should be preferred due to low levels of carbon footprints during all manufacturing stages, high levels of useful lives, outstanding insulation performance and, low level of carbon footprint for recycling over such windows made of other materials.