Antimicrobials in PVC laminates

Antimicrobials in PVC laminates

According the PVP institute, the polyvinyl chloride is one of the most used polymer in the world. It stands out because its capability of generate malleable and rigid products, only differing on the percent of plasticizer on its composition. Its relations cost-benefits make it be present in diverse sectors offering unique properties, like: chemical stability, bad weather resistance and easily recycling. In addition, with nanotechnology it’s possible to incorporate various functionalities in PVP products, what increases the polymer applications and add quality in its uses.

Polyvinyl chloride: the sustainable polymer

In a time where sustainability shows increasingly its importance, the polyvinyl chloride  stands out because of being the single commercial product that is not dependent of the petroleum extraction. It is the second thermoplastic most consumed in the planet (IBGE, 2011), 57% of PVC weight is obtained stem from the Chloro draw from the sea salt or earth salts, both renewable resources. The 43% that rests, came from the ethene, derivative of the petroleum or  natural gas, but can also be obtained from sugarcane ethanol.

Even not being consider a biopolymer, PVC is easily recyclable, have a short life cycle and its products show high durability.

The manufacture of synthetic laminates

Besides the good properties, the low energy consumed in the manufacturing allows polyvinyl chloride to be used in a high range of products. Stands out the PVC laminates and films, that are used for nautical, automotive, footwear and civil covering .

The synthetic laminates production process consists in a PVC film application in a textile, paper or ever other polymer. To obtain the film, in the first time the raw material is submitted to a calendering, where the polymer is heated till achieve a specific viscosity and it’s pressure between cylinders that plan the material, resulting in a PVC laminat. Click here to know more about calendering.

When a textile or paper enhancement is attached to this film when it still in the líquid ou pasty form, the PVC attaches to the substrate, penetrating between the fibras, which results in a mechanical anchor point. Then, the flattened film passes for fusion process, where the layer acquire a bigger resistance and attach to the substrate.  This process is named waterproofing. Diverses products are produced this way, for example the containers,  cars and ships bonnets, inflatable buoys and  boats, tends, etc.

Additives in PVC laminates

In the PVC flexible products, some plasticizer and additives as epoxidized soya oil may serv as food for the microorganisms (Tecnologia do PVC, 2ª Ed.). Besides, in some applications like trucks canvas or nautical sector, exists a big exposition of those products to moisture and to bacterias, fungus and algae contact.

The most simple form to solve both problems is the antimicrobials addictives addition, which combat those undesired microorganisms formation and proliferation, what give a longest useful life of the products and promotes greatly health and well being to the users.        

Other important PVC characteristic ir the flames non-propagation, however, the chloro presence in its composition can generate toxic gases in its burn. (WANG, R., UFPR) To assure the safety in case of fire exposition, non-halogenated or smoke suppressor flame retardant additives are important to the consumer safety.

Because of its great versatility and its polar structure, PVC is susceptible of additives incorporations. TNS offers both the solutions to the PVC laminates market, without needing any change in the conventional productive process. Our research team  always look for new development to add health and wellbeing to people life.

Written by , translated by Jaqueline Scharf