Everybody who has replaced their windows or has even given consideration to replacement windows has heard the terminology. Wood? Aluminum? Those two materials speak for themselves, since most of us are well aware of exactly what a “wood window” would constitute.

But what about vinyl? Of the three most common framing materials for windows, vinyl seems to be the only one with which the average consumer may not be entirely familiar. Vinyl, an advanced polymer (or large molecule), is also known by the scientific term Poly-vinyl Chloride, often abbreviated as PVC.

PVC is one of the most common polymers in the world. Not only is it safe and affordable, it’s also thermally resistant. It can be chemically modified to suit various applications, ranging from construction and home improvement (including replacement windows) all the way to medical equipment and supplies.

Blending raw PVC with other specific chemicals creates a plastic, which is an even higher-level material than base polymer. This allows it to be molded into different shapes, such as a window frame.

For whatever reason, the word “plastic” has received a negative connotation over the years as being cheap and breakable. As mentioned earlier, however, this assumption is inaccurate, since plastic is a higher-level material than the base polymer.

Now that we’ve touched on all of the exciting scientific particulars, you’ll have a much better idea of what vinyl is and how it is created!