Polyvinyl, also known as poly(vinyl chloride) or PVC, is the third most widely produced synthetic plastic. It is a very versatile and cost-efficient thermoplastic of good dimensional stability, good impact strength (when plasticized), and excellent weathering properties. It can be easily extruded, calendered, and die-cut, and is printable with conventional screen and offset printing methods. Depending on the composition, it can be clear or matt, colored or white, and rigid or flexible. It can also be easily reprocessed using heat.
PVC has a rather polar backbone with strong intermolecular interactions. It is, therefore, rigid at room temperature. However, it can be easily softened (plasticized) by adding plasticizer during fabrication. This versatility is a major advantage of vinyl polymers.
PVC film without plasticizer is called rigid vinyl film, whereas PVC film that is plasticized is called flexible vinyl