uPVC material in detail

uPVC stands for Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride — a rigid material that is widely use in building and construction industry. This material is widely used in Europe and North America with over 80% of the market, but is relatively new material on Australian and New Zealand market.

Extrusion and Colours

uPVC profiles are received during extrusion of specially created mixture into the profile. uPVC profile can be extruded in numerous colours, but usually only main colours such as white, crème, olive brown and dark brown are created.

White and crème are used as they are. White colour usually has bigger amount of Titanium Dioxide that is used as stabilizer to protect profiles from colouring against UV. Use of Titanium Dioxide varies from profile to profile based on individual formula used by each manufacturer in regards to the regions where those profiles will be used.

Other colours are created using application of special laminating film that is specially glued on the profile surface. Laminating films come in different colours and textures, including wood grain finishes and beautiful textured looks. Lamination is possible on one or both sides of extruded colours of the profiles allowing more flexibility with colour choices. Use of different lamination colours on both sides is sometimes possible as well making and endless list of options for your colour choices.

Profile reinforcements

As much as rigid uPVC profile is, each section usually contains reinforcing element. Commonly, galvanized steel is used inside of each profile section to allow profile strength and durability.

Some profile sections or entire systems can use other materials including aluminium, fiberglass or any other special foam elements or additional plastic inserts.

Any of those materials are not exposed to the customer and are for the purpose of strength, bending prevention, proper installation into house structure etc.

Profile chambers and size

Each profile system is characterized by amount of chambers and profile thickness.

Very first profiles consisted of as low as 2 or 3 chambers. However, with growing demand on improvements in energy efficiency, profile manufacturers developed new systems accommodating 4, 5 and more chambers. More chambers mean more energy efficiency of profile system.

Amount of chambers is calculated across the profile and does not include any additional chambers located above or below the main cross section – in other words, the only importance have chambers located between inside of the house and outside as they are the ones keeping warmth in winter and saving cold air in summer.

Sectional size of the profiles varies usually from 58 to 88 mm. The more is the size the better is energy and noise efficiency. Therefore wider profiles usually combine bigger amount of chambers within the structure.

Thickness of profiles will as well determine maximum thickness of double glazed units, what will be important if you wish to reduce noise or efficiently use triple glazing.

Benefits of uPVC and differences to other materials

These days there is a range of materials widely used in building industry including for windows and doors. Traditional materials include timber and aluminium, whereas recently there have been more options with combinations of fiberglass, nylon, brass, steel and all the mixes of all the above. All of the profile systems when designed aim for a perfect mix of a number of major factors. Please find comparison table below to show main differences in characteristics between different profile materials.


  Wood Alu PVC
Pros — Renewable resource;
— Good thermal performance;
— Low thermal expansion.
— High stability, good static with small profiles;
— Vast possibilities for individual solutions;
— Resistant surface due to coatings;
— 100% recyclable.
— Easy to clean;
— Low maintenance;
— Excellent thermal performance;
— Easy and cheap to replace glass;
— 100% recyclable;
Cons — Regular high cost maintenance required;
— Not weatherproof;
— Aftercare with  sometimes hazardous materials (wood varnish);
— Not recyclable, hazardous waste products;
— Difficult replacement of glass.
— Bad thermal performance, thermal break needed. — PVC is disputed in public;
— Change of colour is impossible (no painting or powder coating possible).