The Modern DIY Wonder of PVC
Thanks to its versatility, ease of use, durability, and safety, PVC, or if you prefer the geekier term, Polyvinyl chloride, has become the preferred building material of choice for DIY-ers (Do It Yourself-ER), cosplayers, as well as professional builders.
PVC is so versatile, durable, and safe that its application in various capacities is fast replacing building materials such as concrete, glass, metal, and many other ‘traditional’ building materials such as clay.
To understand the modern wonder that is PVC and why it is becoming the go-to building material of choice for professional builders and DIY enthusiasts, you need to understand a bit about the material itself:
A Basic Introduction to Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the most used thermoplastic polymer. Accidentally synthesised in 1840 by Prof Henri Victor Regnault, the commercial viability of PVC took root in the 1920s when the B.F Goodrich Company started mass production of the product. This makes PVC one of the oldest, commercially produced plastic polymers in the word.
There are two general varieties of PVC: solid and foamed PVC sheets.
The solid variety has a very high chemical resistance, which is why its primary uses are in the field of engineering and construction where its uses vary. For instance, construction companies use solid sheets to create fabricated windows, reinforced PVC roofing, piping (PVC pipes), vinyl flooring, and for various other construction purposes.
From a DIY perspective, solid PVC sheets and materials are great for instances where you require a sturdier build — such as support beams for a structure such as a pet cage, the frame of a loft bed, a frame for a simple but durable PVC table, etc.
Foamed PVC has a smooth gloss but hardened finish. Compared to the solid variety of PVC, this variety has a generally lighter cellular structure that makes it easier to fabricate, and its primary uses are in fields such as DIY or signage printing.
Of the two varieties, foamed PVC is lighter and has a smoother finish, which therefore makes it easier to work with and handle especially for DIY projects that require cutting drilling or sawing. Solid PVC on the other hand is heavier and stronger. Despite this, the material is also easy to work with and is especially great for DIY projects where you need to use a sturdy material that holds its shape and that can carry a substantial amount of weight.
Now that we are talking about the various uses of the two varieties of PVC, let us talk about the various ways you can use PVC.
The Many DIY Uses of PVC
Being a super versatile, durable, safe, and relatively cheaper building material, the only limitations to how you can use PVC in your DIY projects are your imagination.
With that stated, below are the various uses of PVC:
Whether you want to make a desk, wine, knife, utensil, iron holsters, or even tools organisers or holders, you use PVC to do it — and do it oh so well and creatively.
PVC is super versatile. This means you can use a PVC pipe to fashion holster pockets for wine, pens, knives, and even some of your tools —the possibilities are limitless. You can also use solid PVC sheets to create a shelf.
Moreover, since the product (PVC) is not expensive, your organiser will turn out great —the material is versatile and you can therefore be very creative with your DIY projects.
PVC has also become one of the most widely used and favoured material for cosplay. This is because the material is easy to work with and fabricate into just about anything: helmets, low poly body armour, guns, masks, staffs, and a variety of fashion accessories.
A great example of the versatility of PVC as the preferred cosplay material of choice for DIY-ers is Martina, a DIY cosplay enthusiast who spent over 1,000 hours creating a PVC-based Anubis costume so detailed that it looked like a CGI prop. Instructables even has a DIY tutorial on how to make a DIY body armour or costume.
The only limit to how you can use PVC in your DIY projects is your imagination. Various DIY-ers have used the material to make things such as cord organisers, lawn mower accessories, holsters, storage cylinders, etc.
You can use PVC as a replacement for most building materials you would use to create your DIY projects. This makes PVC a wonderful material for any DIY enthusiast.