PVC Film Substitute
Demand for PVC free / Non PVC films / PVC plastic replacement is driven by PVC bans.
Why are PVC bans increasing?
• PVC historically has contained phthalates
• PVC breaks down into dioxins
• PVC for practical purposes is difficult to recycle
A product with an unknown destination must be PVC free. In other words, it must be assumed the product will end up in a country which bans PVC.
Volume buyers of calendared PVC where PVC is not banned are not about to pay a green premium until they are forced.
Ideally, the performance characteristics of a PVC replacement and the price of a PVC substitute would be exactly the same as PVC sheet from a calendared PVC manufacturer. While the advent of resins has enabled to more closely mimic PVC, polyethylene simply is not PVC. A blown film substitute for PVC film will not look or behave like PVC film.
Two problem areas emerge:
1. Marketing usually assumes the non PVC substitute must exactly mimic the characteristics of PVC without consumer research. The different personality of a PVC substitute can be a point of differentiation.
2. Converters, especially , lag in making adjustments to their process.
PVC is what is known as a polar resin which makes it a natural for RF welding. Polyethylene has an inherent price advantage over PVC because of , or packing of the molecules. PVC has a nominal density of about 1.26 grams/CC; LDPE polyethylene with a density of around .904 grams/CC costs about 22% less pound for pound than PVC. For this reason, BPI vinyl replacement costs must be compared on an area basis rather than simply price per pound. For example, a price of $1.46 per pound for polyethylene sounds high compared to imported PVC at $1.05 at first glance. Factor in the density and the price per square foot is the same.
is very popular with RF welders because it slightly resembles PVC at a molecular level. works on the principle of a “polar” molecule which spins when bombarded with radio frequency (RF) waves. This phenomena creates frictional heat from the inside out vis-à-vis heat sealing which welds by heating from the outside..
All so-called polar resins are not created equal. On the 10 scale, PVC is the most polar and therefore most sensitive to RF. Urethane is about a 6; PEVA is about a 3; polyethylene and polypropylene are both zero.
Non polar resins can be RF welded by simply substituting a different . Cycle times are usually double the PVC cycle times because polyethylene needs more time to cool down.
It is unrealistic to expect a non-polar film to react to RF waves just like a polar material. The latest generation sealing machines from combine RF and heat sealing for fast cycles. The binder pictured at the upper right was manufactured on one of their machines.
We can match the “hand” of your vinyl very closely in natural, pigmented, high gloss, low gloss or embossed in over 20 patterns.
Our family of PVC substitute films began in critical medical applications such as surgery and prolonged direct human skin contact over seven years ago. Repeated biotoxicity tests prove our PVC replacement films are inert, non-harmful and 100% recyclable LDPE #3.
• 3-ring binders
• Sheet protectors
• Trade show badges
• Wall coverings
Learn more about PVC-free alternatives: