The Difference between Soft PVC and Hard PVC

Apr 17 , 2023

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a widely used thermoplastic material due to its special physical and chemical characteristics. PVC can be divided into two types: rigid PVC and flexible PVC. The main difference between these two types of PVC is their flexibility, but they also have other differences in performance and characteristics. In this article, we will discuss the main differences between rigid PVC and flexible PVC.


The main difference between rigid PVC and flexible PVC is their flexibility. Rigid PVC is rigid and inflexible, while flexible PVC is flexible and bendable. Rigid PVC products can maintain their shape and stay in place after molding, while flexible PVC products can be molded into a bendable shape without breaking.


The manufacturing temperature and pressure for rigid PVC are higher than for flexible PVC. In addition, plasticizers are added to flexible PVC to give it elasticity, while rigid PVC does not require plasticizers. Due to the addition of plasticizers, flexible PVC is more susceptible to deformation and degradation over time.


Rigid pvc extrusion is typically used for products that require hardness, durability, and impact resistance, including pipes, window frames, and building materials. The soft pvc extrusion is more commonly used for products that require flexibility, such as inflatable products, cable insulation, and medical equipment.

Chemical Resistance

Although rigid PVC and flexible PVC have many common chemical resistance features, there are also some subtle differences. The chemical resistance of flexible PVC is not as good as that of rigid PVC because the added plasticizers make it more susceptible to chemical corrosion over time.


Both flexible and rigid PVC can be recycled, but there are some differences in the recycling process. Plasticizers in flexible PVC can interfere with the recycling process, making it more challenging than for rigid PVC.

In conclusion, although both rigid PVC and flexible PVC are made from the same basic material, they have significant differences in manufacturing processes, characteristics, and uses. Rigid PVC is harder, more durable, and more resistant to chemical corrosion, while flexible PVC is more flexible, more bendable, and easier to process. Both types of PVC, if used for the appropriate applications, can provide excellent performance and durability, making PVC a versatile and cost-effective material that is suitable for a wide range of industries. When seeking a reliable extruded profile factory for your custom extruded profiles, Huayu offers an extensive range of manufacturing capabilities for both rigid PVC and flexible PVC profiles. Their expertise allows them to cater to the specific requirements of your project, whether it involves the more durable and resistant rigid PVC or the flexible and bendable properties of flexible PVC. Trust Huayu for high-quality, customized extruded profiles that meet your industry's needs.