Expanded PVC has a porous core. During the extrusion process, argon is added, lightening up the mixture. The result of this is that the end product (expanded PVC sheet), has a very dense hard surface on both sides and a softer surface on the inside. Because of this, it’s much lighter in weight than regular PVC. To give you a better idea of just how much lighter, a single person can lift a large sheet of 1” thick expanded PVC and carry it. A similar sized sheet of regular PVC might require six people to lift and carry it.

Acetal plastic part made by Traco Manufacturing.
Fast Facts
Great for signage
Can be UV resistant

Expanded PVC Facts, Specifications, Grades, and More

What type of products are made with expanded PVC?

This material is used predominantly for point of purchase displays and signage. Visual merchandising signage for exhibits, photo mounts, and display boards are also excellent uses for expanded PVC.

How strong is expanded PVC?

This depends on what grade of this type of plastic you are looking for. This material can come in varying degrees of strength and rigidity. As is often the case with plastics, the thicker the material the stronger the sheet, rod, or tube.

How is expanded PVC recycled?

Unfortunately, this is the one type of plastic material that isn’t recyclable. But, we hope that in the future this becomes an option. Check out our Traco blog to find out more about plastic recycling.

Is expanded PVC FDA compliant?

Yes, it is FDA compliant and can be used in the food industry.

Is expanded PVC UV resistant?

Some grades are more UV resistant than others. For a UV-resistant grade of expanded PVC, we recommend Celtec DigiLite.

Is expanded PVC an antimicrobial plastic?

No, there is no form of expanded PVC that has an antimicrobial component.

Does expanded PVC do well in the elements outdoors?

Yes, in fact, it is known to be resistant to many outdoor elements such as wind, rain, prolonged exposure to UV light, water, mold, mildew and it has a good flame rating.

What are the colors available in expanded PVC sheets?

Sheets come in a wide variety of colors. These include: white, black, red, green, gray, stone, blue, yellow, bright white, beige, dark red, light gray, bright yellow, dark green, dark blue, and tan. Expanded PVC also comes in multi-layered colors: white/black, white/black/white, and white/white/white.

What are the most common brands of expanded PVC?

Celtec, InteCel, and Sintra are the most common brands of expanded PVC.

Where to buy expanded PVC sheets?

Contact Traco for your next project requiring expanded PVC.

How to cut expanded PVC sheets?

It can be sawed, CNC routed, cut, and fabricated. Contact Traco for more in-depth manufacturing information for your next project.

How to glue expanded PVC?

Material pieces can be glued with commercially-available PVC cement.

Is expanded PVC sheet flexible?

It can come in flexible or rigid sheets depending on its usage.

Can expanded PVC be printed on?

Yes, this plastic is a great material for screen printing. This is one of the largest benefits when using this material for signage.

How to clean expanded PVC?

Much like regular PVC, it is a chemical-resistant material. Clorox products can be used to clean expanded PVC. Even colored sheets can be cleaned with Clorox products. However, if your product has been screen printed on, then it might be best to use a milder cleaner.

What type of applications is expanded PVC used in?

It can be used in most of the same applications as regular PVC. However, where you can drill threaded holes through a piece of regular PVC, you cannot drill threaded holes in expanded PVC. As a result of this, there have been times where we have used brass neural inserts melded through holes cut in expanded PVC to allow for threaded hole placement. This allows a screw to adhere the expanded PVC onto a mount.

Plastics machining taking place on a CNC router at Traco Manufacturing.

Specs and Data

Attribute Value
Friction Rating
Impact Rating
Machining Speed
Difficulty to Machine

Strengths and Benefits

  • It’s a great material to use in outdoor applications

  • Comes in a variety of colors

  • This material can be printed on and is also very light weight. Because of this, it’s great to use for signage.


  • This material does not have any antimicrobial properties

  • Expanded PVC is not a recyclable material


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