PVC Type 1 sheet has a range of continuous use temperatures from 32° F (0° C) to 140° F (60° C). When comparing it to other amorphous materials Type I PVC is a more chemically resistant, non-flammable, lower-cost plastic for use in a variety of applications. It has high impact strength suitable for fabrication, machining, welding and bonding applications. PVC Type 1 demonstrates good resistance if exposed to chemicals or oxidizing media, and can withstand a wide variety of harsh industrial and mechanical environments. It can be readily cut, drilled, routed, tapped.

PVC - An Economical and Highly Machinable Material

It can be readily cut, drilled, routed, and tapped.

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Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most commonly used thermoplastic polymers in the world, known for its extreme versatility and resistance to oils and low permeability to gases. PVC is resistant to all inorganic chemicals. It has very good resistance against diluted acids, diluted alkalis, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. It is ideally suited for applications where maximum chemical resistance is required in industrial and mechanical environments. It is often used to make chemical storage tanks, oil tanks, greenhouse applications, and more. Due to its great versatility nature, PVC plastic offers excellent thermal and sound insulation - absorbing vibrations and oscillations. It’s important to note, that PVC sheets have a short span in terms of molecular structure and therefore are sensitive to point loading.

  • Chemical Resistance
  • High impact strength/stiffness
  • Easy to fabricate and process
  • Excellent electrical insulation
  • Low flammability rating
  • Smooth surface

Types of PVC:

  1. PVC Type 1  - PVC has a continuous temperature range of 32° F (0° C) to 140° F (60° C). Compared to other amorphous materials, it is more chemically resistant, non-flammable, low-cost plastic. It is widely used for applications that require excellent corrosion, impact, and chemical resistance.
  2. PVC Type 2 - offers easy processability along with high strength and stiffness. Compared to PVC Type 1, it has higher impact strength, performs better in lower temperatures, and has slightly better chemical resistance. It provides excellent electrical insulation properties and can be cut, routed, hot-gas welded, cold and heat bent, vacuum formed, and glued.
  3. CPVC - offers extreme chemical resistance, high heat distortion temperature, fire-retardant characteristics, and extremely low water absorption. It is readily workable - machining, welding, and forming, and it’s ideally suited for applications involving harsh chemicals. 
  4. Expanded Foam PVC - also known as PVC foam, most commonly used in the sign and graphics industry. Durable, lightweight, rigid with a matte finish, and easy to fabricate. It's available in a variety of colors.


Over the past few decades, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic, has become one of the most widely-used types of plastic. It is available in rigid and flexible forms. Rigid PVC comes in two grades, type 1 which is for general purpose use, and type 2 which has increased impact resistance.

PVC Sheet Applications

  • Chemical Processing
  • Die Cutters
  • Enclosures
  • Gears
  • Machine Shops
  • Medical Packaging
  • Food and Beverage Preparation and Processing
  • Gaskets and Seals
  • Semiconductor and Electronics
  • Tank Construction
  • Thermoformers
  • Valves and Fittings

PVC Sheets Fabrication

PVC sheets have high impact strength suitable for fabrication, machining, welding, bonding, and thermoforming applications. It can be readily cut, drilled, tapped, routed, and otherwise machined using conventional tools, and can be brake formed (thinner gauges), heat welded, adhesive bonded, and mechanically fastened, allowing rapid fabrication of a broad range of high-integrity parts and assemblies.


Drilling PVC Sheets

ShapesPlastics experts recommend using a sharp drill due to the fragile nature of PVC sheets. For newer drills, we recommend sharpening it by drilling a few times on a wooden surface to make sure the burrs are off the drill. Do not drill too close to the edge. As a rule of thumb, keep at least 2x the diameter of the hole from the edge. Safely clamp the PVC plate on your workbench and place a piece of wood under the PVC sheet prior to drilling.

Welding PVC Sheets

The chlorine in PVC sheets releases harmful vapors when burnt which can be toxic to your health. Welding is possible but recommended only for professionals with a good extraction installation. You cannot weld PVC by pulling - it has to be pushed.

Milling PVC Sheets

PVC sheets are easy to mill and cut. Similar to drilling PVC, use sharp tools - it can start turning white when you start milling with a blunt cutter. PVC might have some odor to it, but as long as it’s not burnt, it should be okay. As always, it’s the end user’s responsibility to exercise caution and maintain all safety guidelines. It’s better to ask a professional to help you.


For the do-it-yourselfers, we recommended ordering a sample piece of plastic sheets prior to purchase so you can practice different machining styles. For users who do not have the skill, experience, tools, or time to fabricate these sheets, ShapesPlastics offers cut-to-size ad hoc services. The ability to create cut-to-size products that deliver the best quality, precision in cutting, and tight tolerances, is what truly sets us apart. You can also benefit from additional savings in shipping as cutting the sheet down to your final size, might qualify it for free standard shipping.

PVC Pipes vs ABS Pipes vs Copper Pipes

When it comes to plumbing projects, plastic pipes are inexpensive, lightweight solutions that almost never corrode. In comparison to metal pipes, they keep hot water and don’t collect condensation from cold water.


PVC Pipes

ABS Pipes

Copper Pipes

White in color

Black in color


✔ Flexible

✔ Stronger

✔ Lasts longer when water running through isn’t acidic

✔ Better at muffling the sound of running water

✔ More shock resistant

✔ Better resistance to vibration

✔ Easier to install

✔ Can better handle severe cold temperatures

✔ Cleaner as it contains no chemicals

X Two-step process when connecting pipes

✔ One-step process when connecting pipes thus more cost-effective

X Can corrode if water is acidic


X Can warp with exposure to direct sunlight

X More difficult to install


X More expensive


X Noisier


PVC Sheet vs Acrylic Sheet for Kitchen Cabinets


PVC Laminate Finish

Acrylic Finish





Comparatively cheap

More expensive


Not as glossy

Highly glossy


Relatively high

Relatively low

PVC Roofing Sheets vs Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets

PVC Roofing Sheets

Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets

✔ Lightweight

✔ Lightweight Structure

✔ Low Cost

✔ Easy to Cut on Site and Install

✔ DIY Friendly

✔ Excellent Rigidity

✔ Waterproof

✔ More Stable with UV Exposure

✔ Strong Light Transmission 

✔ Highly Weather Resistance

✔ Scratch Resistance

✔ Excellent Fire Rating

X Not as effective as Polycarbonate

✔ Good Thermal Insulation


✔ Virtually Unbreakable


PVC Sheets vs HDPE Sheets

PVC Sheets

HDPE Sheets

✔ Cheap and Durable

✔ Harder and Durable 

✔ Amorphous

✔ Semi-Crystalline

✔ Heavier and Stronger

✔ Abrasion and Heat Resistant

✔ Faster Installation

✔ Can Absorb Shock Waves


✔ More durable when exposed to extreme weather conditions


✔ Can withstand up to 4 times more than PVC when exposed to hot or cold weather



ShapesPlastics can meet your PVC needs. We offer a variety of PVC sheets in different thicknesses, sizes, colors, and grades. We carry a large inventory of popular brands in a variety of thicknesses. The thickness you need for your application depends entirely on the application at hand. If you are unsure about which thickness is suitable for your project, please contact us. We are backed by the industry's most knowledgeable sales team, have extensive experience, and can, with sufficient information, make a good estimate of the thickness to be used. If you need a larger sheet, request a free quote via the contact page.

We offer cut-to-size and fabrication options so you can get exactly what you need without the hassle of having to cut it yourself. We also provide value-added precision fabrication services such as drilling holes, diamond and flame polishing, rounded edges, radius corners, and state-of-the-art CNC routing and cutting services for exceptionally smooth surface finish.

Not only can we cut what you need, but we can also ship it for free if it is a standard size piece. We offer competitive prices, an easy-to-use website, and have knowledgeable staff that is ready to help point you in the right direction. Thinking of purchasing UHMW sheets at Home Depot or UHMW at Lowes? They don't cut to your specification and frankly, here at ShapesPlastics, we are less expensive and offer an array of services so you get exactly what you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

PVC sheets have flame-extinguishing characteristics meaning they do not contribute to fire spread, however, chlorine fumes are poisonous (toxic). They can escape upon contact with the seat of the fire. It is not suitable for food-grade applications.

We carry a large inventory of popular brands with a variety of dimensions, colors, and thickness. We primarily supply SIMONA® PVC Sheets.

Frequently Asked Questions

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