How Is Vinyl Siding Made?

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Vinyl

  • When most people hear the word "vinyl," what comes to mind is club wear and old records. Another item though, which is more common than either music formats or clothing is the siding used on the sides of houses. Vinyl, being a recyclable, durable and extremely versatile thermoplastic, brings a lot to the table when it's used as siding. It can take on the appearance of wood, but it won't be invaded by insects or moisture. Vinyl siding doesn't warp or crack the way wood does, and best of all the color of vinyl siding is uniform, which doesn't require it to ever be scraped or painted.

Raw Materials

  • The first step in manufacturing vinyl siding is to choose the necessary additives. Most commonly these are the colors, UV resistance, stabilizers (which help keep the vinyl regular and smooth) and impact modifiers (which will stop the vinyl siding from cracking, denting or otherwise being damaged). The materials are then combined with the resin that is the basis of all vinyl. Once the additives and resin are combined into a single material called vinyl compound (which is made and stored in the form of pellets), the necessary raw materials have been assembled.

Forming

  • The vinyl pellets are then extruded (melted) and used to fill molds to shape the vinyl. This can be done to create vinyl siding "boards" of a variety of lengths and thicknesses. Once the vinyl siding leaves the die it was pressed in, it's examined for flaws and problems by quality control. If the vinyl is found to be imperfect or warped in some way, the material is sent back to the beginning to be recycled and remolded. Vinyl siding that meets the necessary prerequisites is then sent forward to be packaged and sold. Because vinyl is a thermoplastic, it's a fairly green material that can be recycled and used over and over again.

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