History of uPVC
Waldo Semon invented polyvinyl chloride also known as PVC or vinyl
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC was first created by the German chemist - Eugen Baumann - in 1872. Eugen Baumann did not apply for a patent. Polyvinyl chloride or PVC was never patented until 1913 when German, Friedrich Klatte, invented a new method of the polymerization of vinyl chloride using sunlight. Friedrich Klatte became the first inventor to receive a patent for PVC. However, no really useful purpose for PVC was found until Waldo Semon came along and made PVC a better product. Sermon had been quoted as saying, "People thought of PVC as worthless back then [circa 1926]. They'd throw it in the trash." In 1926, Waldo Lonsbury Semon was working for the B.F. Goodrich Company in the United States as a researcher, when he invented plasticized polyvinyl chloride. Waldo Semon had been trying to dehydrohalogenate polyvinyl chloride in a high boiling solvent in order to obtain an unsaturated polymer that could bond rubber to metal. For his invention, Waldo Semon received United States patents #1,929,453 and #2,188,396 for the "Synthetic Rubber-like Composition and Method of Making Same; Method of Preparing Polyvinyl Halide Products."

 Benefits of uPVC
The Environment

Debates about climate change, carbon footprints and waste have put 'green' issues firmly in the consumer consciousness. For this reason, we have chosen our uPVC suppliers with care to ensure that they demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency, waste reduction, re-use and offer sustainable manufacture.

  • Their state of the art factory has been designed specifically to re-cycle rainwater that cleans the glass
  • All glass off-cuts are re-cycled
  • All packaging is re-cycled
  • They offer, as standard, high performance thermally insulating glass

The very high credentials in respect of the energy efficiency of your replacement windows are an important feature to consider when calculating the value of an order placed with Vantage UK

The formula to adopt at all times is Price + Quality + Energy Efficiency = Value


Recycled Plastics - A Second Life

Plastics re-cycling takes place on a significant scale in the UK and there is considerable research conducted to discover the most efficient ways to recycle.   Raw materials have a high value and are a precious resource.   To conserve both money and the environment the industry makes every effort to recover as much as possible.

The following are just a few examples:

  • Polyethylene film – It is estimated that around 50,000 tonnes of polyethylene film, about 10% of total UK production, are recovered every year to provide useful and serviceable goods such as certain types of builders’ sheeting and black refuse bags, the majority of which are made from recycled material.
  • Polystyrene – Recycling of polystyrene clothes hangers collected from department stores is an excellent example of a successful commercial venture, as is a similar system based on the recovery of used cassette cases taken from photographic laboratories.  Typical applications include injection moulded products, including recycled versions of the original article or quite different products such as flower pots.


uPVC Windows Are The Future

A key product that demonstrates the sustainability of plastic materials is the uPVC window.   Air miles do not feature as the entire supply chain – from raw material to installation - is based here in the UK.

uPVC windows with their low conductivity and tight seals contribute enormously to insulating a home and thereby achieve valuable energy savings. 

A key feature of the product’s sustainability credentials is its rapidly growing recycling record.  There are a rapidly growing network of recyclers in place to ensure that the value inherent in your windows lives on.

By 2006, over 22,000 tonnes of post-consumer PVC window profiles were recycled in the UK and the figures are set to increase during 2007.   The UK is a leader in PVC window profile recycling in Europe and it’s feasible that it will be a technical possibility to manufacture new PVC windows made entirely from recycled PVC.

Plastics Make A Favourable Contribution to the Environment

In spite of the myths, plastics make an overall contribution to the environment due to their lightweight, low volume, highly durable properties.   They use less energy and pollute less in manufacture than many other materials and, more importantly, they can easily be recycled.   The same recycling opportunities apply to a polyethylene carrier bag and to a plastic drinks bottle; to expanded polystyrene building insulation and PVC window frames.

Across Europe, the recovery rate of post-consumer end-of-life plastics now stands at a record 50%.   And with the UK now recognising the value of energy-from-waste, it is worth remembering that a one litre plastic drinks bottle will power a light bulb for 1½ hours if recovered through a state of the art EfW plant.  So we need to start thinking of plastic as simply a borrowed resource which can be efficiently recycled or reclaimed.

Why is uPVC ?


Polyvinyl Choride (PVC) is a chemical compound of chlorine, carbon and hydrogen.  The components of PVC originate from the naturally occurring raw materials of petroleum or natural gas and common salt.  The ‘u’ stands for unplasticised and means that the material has not been softened by the addition of chemicals known as plasticizers.

PVC was produced for the first time in 1935 and has been industrially manufactured in large quantities for over 50 years. It has been developed into a material that can offer a wider range of properties and therefore has many different applications.   Total PVC productions can be split approximately into the following applications:

  • 55%     Construction Industry
  • 16%     Packaging History
  • 4%       Furniture
  • 4%       Cars
  • 2%       Electricity Industry
  • 19%     Others (including Medical and Horticultural)


The basic material properties of uPVC make it ideal for door application. These properties include:        

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  • Does not rot or biologically decompose
  • Is resistant to weathering with low maintenance requirements
  • Is tough on impact
  • It retains its shape within normal climatic temperatures
  • It can be reshaped at high temperature and can therefore be recycled


Pure uPVC is not quite suitable for window profiles. A small amount of stabilisers and additives are required, the mix of which may differ between manufacturers. The basic material properties of uPVC make it ideal for window application. These properties include:

  •   Does not rot or biologically decompose
  •   Is resistant to weathering with low maintenance requirements
  •   Is tough on impact
  •   It retains its shape within normal climatic temperatures
  •   It can be reshaped at high temperature and can therefore be recycled


A uPVC conservatory may also be known as PVC, uPVC or a plastic conservatory.

The most commonly used material in conservatory manufacture is uPVC or unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (ridged plastic). This is also referred to as vinyl in America.   The general reason that uPVC is used today in 100,000 of applications including uPVC conservatory manufacture is because uPVC is a thermoplastic - a substance that loses its shape when heated and then becomes ridged again as it cools. Heat shapes uPVC into countless useful forms making it easy to produce uPVC conservatory extrusions.