A brief history of uPVC windows

Almost all windows, doors and conservatories sold today are made out of uPVC and with pretty good reason too. For starters it’s miles cheaper to produce uPVC windows than frames made from more traditional timber, but it’s also an extremely strong, lightweight and durable material that possesses a versatility that lends itself perfectly to all manner of applications within the building trade. ou may be surprised to learn that Polyvinyl Chloride !PVC" was discovered completely by accident, what’s even more surprising is that this actually happened twice# first in $%&' by the French chemist (enri Victor )eginault and then again in $%*+ by ,erman -ugen .aumann. /n both occasions# the polymer appeared as a white, solid substance inside flas0s of vinyl chloride that were left exposed to sunlight. 1either of them thought to patent their discovery and it wasn’t until the early +2th century that anyone attempted to find a commercial use for the new substance. Among those who initially attempted to commerciali3e PVC were )ussian chemist 4van /stromislens0y and Frit3 5latte of the ,erman chemical company ,riesheim6-le0tron, however, both ran into difficulties in processing the rigid and occasionally brittle polymer and thus, their efforts were hampered. 4n $7+8 renowned American inventor 9aldo :emon discovered that the substance could be plastici3ed by mixing it with various additives. ;his resulted in a softer and much more malleable material that had an absolutely staggering amount of uses across almost all areas of manufacturing. ;o this day, PVC is one of the most used manufacturing materials in the world. ;he unplastici3ed form of PVC, 0nown as uPVC eventually found a use of its own as a building material. ;he production of uPVC windows began during the $782<s first in ,ermany and then followed by .ritain and America. =anufacturers >uic0ly warmed to the advantages of uPVC over traditional materials such as wood and metal. /ver the intervening years, production of uPVC windows increased dramatically to the point that over 72? of windows produced, sold and fitted in the @5 today are made from uPVC.

There has been something of a backlash against the widespread use of uPVC in construction in recent years, with critics deriding its use as ‘ugly’ or ‘cheap looking’ with some local authorities even going as far as to ban its use on some listed buildings. These criticisms are unfair, however, as the technology behind uPVC windows has improved to the point that they are now much more energy efficient than traditional wooden frames and can even be made tolook almost indistinguishable from them

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