polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic that is a polymer of vinyl chloride. Resins of polyvinyl chloride are hard, but with the addition of plasticizers a flexible, elastic plastic can be made. This plastic has found extensive use as an electrical insulator for wires and cables. Cloth and paper can be coated with it to produce fabrics that may be used for upholstery materials and raincoats.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.