VCM is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is used to make a variety of products, including plastics, hoses, pipes and fittings for outdoor irrigation, wire and cable coatings, packaging materials, furniture and automobile upholstery, flooring, windows, credit or ATM cards, wall coverings, housewares, outdoor furniture, plastic containers, wrapping film, automotive parts and many others. In the past VCM has been used as a refrigerant.

Substance details

Substance name: Vinyl chloride monomer

CASR number: 75-01-4

Molecular formula: C2H3Cl

Synonyms: vinyl chloride, VC, VCM, chloroethylene, chloroethene, ethylene monochloride, monochloroethylene, monochloroethene.

Physical properties

VCM is a colourless gas, it is extremely flammable and unstable. It has a mild, sweet odour. The threshold for detecting odour is 3000 parts per million. VCM is soluble in many organic solvents but is not soluble in water. VCM is considered a volatile organic compound by the National Pollutant Inventory.

Specific gravity: 0.9106

Melting Point: -153.8

Boiling Point: -13.4

Relative vapour density: 2.2

Flash point: -77.8

Chemical properties

VCM can polymerise rapidly due to heating and under the influence of air, light and contact with a catalyst, strong oxidisers and metals such as copper and aluminium, with fire or explosion hazard. As a gas mixed with air, VCM is a fire and explosion hazard. On standing VCM can form peroxides, which may then explode. VCM will react with iron and steel in the presence of moisture.


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