PVC vs. ABS
Although many materials are available for launcher construction the most commonly used are PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). Both materials have many advantages and disadvantages, as outlined below.
- Density: 1380 kg/m^3
- Melting Point: 212 Degrees Celsius
- Becomes brittle when cold
- Natural Color: White
- Other characteristics: Wikipedia
- Density: 1024 kg/m^3
- Melting Point: 105 Degrees Celsius
- Resistant to changes due to temperature
- Natural Color: Black
- Other Characteristics: Wikipedia
- Less resistant to shock than ABS
- Resistant to loads and shock
- Resists aqueous acids, alkalis, alcohols, and oils
- Swells when mixed with glacial acetic acid, carbon tetrachloride and aromatic hydrocarbons
- Soluble in esters and ketones
- Shatters upon failure. For this reason, it is illegal in most areas to use PVC in compressed air applications.
- Rips upon failure, although it can shatter in the form of cellular core ABS. ABS is legal for compressed air applications, as long as it is pressure-rated.
Availability, Price, and Other Information
- Typically cheaper than ABS
- Pressure-rated, usually well beyond what a launcher would require, except in the case of Hybrid launchers.
- More common than ABS
- Fused (glued) by solvent welding, which requires two parts: Primer (a mixture of solvents), and Cement (Solvents with PVC resin).
- Easier to acquire in different diameters
- More expensive than PVC
- Not pressure-rated (Pressure-rated ABS does exist, but it is much less available, and much more expensive).
- Less common than PVC, especially pressure-rated
- Fused by only one chemical, ABS cement
It should be noted that ABS cement will NOT work on PVC, or vise-versa.