Records for phonographs, films for car stickers, metal-plastic windows and pipes — these are iconic things for their era. At first glance, nothing unites them, but nevertheless such a denominator exists and a material acts in its role — polyvinyl chloride or simply vinyl. The properties of this polymer make it possible to use it in almost any area of human life, including the interior design industry. In this article, we will consider the vinyl flooring, trying to pay attention to design features, properties and issues of applicability in a particular situation.
Most modern floor coverings are like a «layer cake», consisting of several balls connected into a single composition. Each of them performs its own function (protective, stabilizing, shock-absorbing, etc.). But there is always a base layer that defines the set of properties of the finished product. In the case of vinyl floor tiles, polyvinyl chloride or PVC (PVC) plays its role.
It is a colorless elastic polymer capable of assuming various forms, depending on the technology. This largely determines the wide range of its application, but much more contribute to this:
- Resistance in contact with acid-base, alcohol, fat materials;
- Non-flammability. When exposed to temperatures above 70-100 °C, PVC crystallizes (hardens), and when the threshold of 220 °C is exceeded, it melts;
- Dielectric properties;
- Low thermal conductivity (about 0.16 W/mK);
- Strength and wear resistance, etc.
The main disadvantage of this material is the difficulty of its disposal. The fact is that during its combustion, toxic chlorine-containing compounds can be released into the air. In addition, PVC without additional components is sensitive to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays. Such a scenario can lead to the development of the photodestruction process, which can result in a loss of strength characteristics and elasticity.
In general, vinyl flooring is a very competitive product in the flooring market. A wide range of operational (including decorative) characteristics practically doesn’t limit the range of their application: from the living room to the bathroom and from the store to the industrial premises. This is a fairly strong, unpretentious and durable material. But all this is possible only if the recommendations for selection, styling and further use are followed.