PVC - Another Useful Product:
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is a widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. It comes in two basic forms: rigid and flexible. The rigid form of PVC is used in construction for pipe and other products. It is also used for bottles, other non-food packaging, and cards (such as bank or membership cards). It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers. In this form, it is also used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, imitation leather, signage, inflatable products, and many applications where it replaces rubber.
PVC pipe comes in a large variety of diameters from 1/8” to 24”. For making adaptive equipment I would think any diameter under 1.5" might be practical. PVC is readily available and almost any hardware store will have a variety of sizes available. PVC is pretty easy to work with as long as you are careful. It is easily cut using a hacksaw, as long as it is held firmly in place by a vise or clamp.
Depending on the intent you may glue pieces, with or without PVC pipe cement, or no glue at all. My friend Andy has even "welded" pieces of Aquaplast or even other pieces of PVC material together with a heat gun. That is another property of PVC he likes is that you can heat it up with a heat gun and mold and bend it. None of the projects show here require gluing.
The pipe, used together with a wide variety of fittings makes many different configurations possible, such as the book holder below or the camera support at the right.
PVC Book Holder
Pieces can be glued together using primer and pipe cement depending on what you are trying to make.
There are some concerns you should be aware of if you are going to use primer and pipe cement. Make sure you are aware of the protocols involved in using these products.
As I began to research for more information on adaptive uses for PVC I was amazed at the tremendous number of products made from PVC. Everything from wheel and shower chairs to simple book holders.
Andy Dahmen and I have used a lot of PVC adaptions to enable us to use regular fishing gear. He made Andy's Fishing Pole Holder for our 2nd Annual Quadriplegic Fishing Derby last summer and was very successful.
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