The uPVC Window Alliance, an initiative of the Vinyl Council of Australia announces the release of an Australian Industry Code of Practice (ICP) and accreditation scheme for uPVC (vinyl) profiles for windows and doors. 

Unplasticised PVC or uPVC windows are known around the world for their durability, low maintenance and thermal efficiency. The potential discolouring of uPVC window profiles when exposed to the high UV conditions prevalent in Australia is a concern often expressed by specifiers, builders and consumers.

The new Industry Code of Practice aims to provide greater confidence in the durability of uPVC profiles under Australian climatic conditions and reduce concerns related to discolouration. The ICP sets specific composition, weathering resistance, colour and strength requirements for extruded uPVC profiles for use in windows and doors in Australian buildings. 

With Australia having the highest solar radiation per square metre of land of any continent, it is imperative for products used in Australian buildings to be formulated and designed for this climate. 

Accreditation under the new ICP will mean that profiles have been independently tested to withstand Australia’s higher UV conditions. The new Australian ICP requires testing to a minimum radiation exposure of 15,000 MJ/m², going beyond the weathering standards typically applied to profiles for regions such as northern or southern Europe, the US or China. 

Suppliers can receive accreditation under the ICP for their profiles by getting them independently tested at Australia’s only natural outdoor weather resistance testing laboratory at a high irradiation site near Townsville, Queensland. Exposed profiles are required to meet stringent maximum colour change parameters as well as pass impact strength tests. The code also includes provisions related to the polymer quality and restrictions on the use of legacy additive compounds containing lead or cadmium. Recycled PVC is allowed in profiles subject to the ICP requirements being met. 

Manufacturers of profiles that have been independently verified as meeting the ICP performance requirements may apply for licensed use of the ICP accreditation mark, providing a simple way for specifiers, builders and customers to identify accredited uPVC profiles, tested for Australia’s extreme climate.

The Australian Industry Code of Practice has been released following over two years of consultation and development with stakeholders in the sector in Australia and overseas.

Image: Accreditation under the new ICP will mean that profiles have been independently tested to withstand Australia’s higher UV conditions (Courtesy Plustec Pty Ltd)