Editorial Feature

Vinyl (Poly Vinyl Chloride) in Electrical Applications

Vinyl was first used in electrical applications more than a half century ago as a replacement for rubber insulation. Today, vinyl commands nearly half of the market for electrical applications such as wire insulation and sheathing. That's because of vinyl's reliable durability and outstanding safety record.

Throughout the years, vinyl electrical products have repeatedly met or exceeded requirements set by the National Electrical Code, the three model building codes and Underwriters' Laboratories® for fire, physical and electrical performance.


Vinyl offers a unique combination of properties that make it a material of choice in the electrical market, including:

Superior Fire Performance

Vinyl electrical products play a key role in preventing fires from starting and in limiting the amount of damage a fire can do, once it starts. PVC burns very slowly, which prevents the fire from spreading and keeps smoke levels low.

Easy, Economical Installation

Installing PVC electrical systems over metallic systems can mean a real cost savings to any project. In fact, a 1990 study conducted by IFT Technical Services found that installation of PVC non-metallic electrical tubing saves between 30 and 33 percent in labour and installation costs than the comparable metallic system.

Durability in All Conditions

Vinyl is resistant to chemicals, corrosion, abrasion, UV degradation, extreme temperature, weather variations and general wear, keeping maintenance costs low.


Vinyl can be easily formulated to meet the requirements of nearly any application. It provides superior flexibility, colourability, formulation and design versatility, and good dielectric behaviour.

Electrical Applications

Vinyl is used in hundreds of electrical products and devices with more applications continually being developed. Some of the most prevalent uses include:

  • Keyboards
  • Refrigerators
  • Fiber Optics
  • Computers
  • Powertools
  • Component Housings
  • Electrical Cords
  • Washers
  • Air Conditioners
  • Floppy Disks
  • Phone Systems
  • Cellular Phones

Source: The Vinyl Institute

For more information on this source please visit The Vinyl Institute

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