what is vinyl?

What’s behind the most versatile plastic on the planet.

What’s behind the most versatile plastic on the planet.

  • Vinyl is a petroleum-based plastic that was accidentally invented by Eugen Baumann in 1872 when he exposed a vial of vinyl chloride to sunlight. Then in 1926, a fella names Dr. Waldo Semon was tasked with figuring out a way to bond metal and rubber together. Even though he wasn’t necessarily successful with figuring out the adhesive, he found that chloride mixed with a handful of other chemicals turned into an incredibly practical rubbery substance – Vinyl.
  • Vinyl is primarily made of two things: oil and salt. Those two things are processed to get ethylene and chlorine, then compounded into a resin.
  • Non-toxic and chlorine-free versions of vinyl (EVA, PEVA, PVA and PVB) are commonly used for children’s toys, athletic shoes, certain house paints and food storage.
  • The full list of products made from different kinds of vinyl is enormous. Some common items include: siding, roofing, gutters, fencing, insulation, upholstery, car body moldings, safety glass and, of course, records.
  • An easily recyclable plastic, Vinyl can be repurposed over and over with little effect on durability and moisture resistance.
  • The Vinyl industry (producers and extruders) contributes over 350,000 jobs and $54-billion to the economy.