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Brentwood Plastics Blog

PEVA film is not the only PVC substitute

Posted by Joel Longstreth on Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 02:41 PM

not PVC shower curtainPEVA materials are not the only PVC substitute film.

PEVA film is a popular substitute where PVC has been banned mainly because it is what is known as a "polar" molecule.  The properties of polyethylene film copolymer EVA also known as PEVA material most closely mimic the polar nature of PVC.  This makes "PEVA" the path of least resistance when substituting for PVC. 

PEVA shower curtains are a ubiquitous PEVA film success story.  It is interesting to note that the retail price of a PEVA shower curtain is about triple the cost of a PVC shower curtain.  The cost to manufacture is identical for both PVC shower curtains and PEVA shower curtains.  The claims of "Eco Friendly" and biodegradable are unabashed greenwashing claims know politely as "son of fibbing" or outright lies depending on who is defining the greenwashing sin.

Not all PEVA's are created equal.  PEVA is short for "Polyethylene Ethylene Vinyl Acetate" which is a copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. The copolymer is made by the resin producer in varying percentages, not added by the blown film manufacturer.  Therefore it is essential to specify the percentage of EVA copolymer in the PEVA material.

New metallocene catalyst polyethylene films emulate the "hand" of calendared PVC.  Metallocenes have proven to be very clean in biotoxicity tests in medical applications requiring prolonged and direct skin contact.  While RF welding metallocene requires a learning curve and a modified "buffer", metallocenes are readily heat sealable.  Custom shapes can be achieved by a heated seal which is a heated die rule.

An additional side benefit to both PEVA and metallocenes used where PVC is banned is they are considered "burnable" by European standards. 

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A new category of polymers which we'll call thermoplastic olefins, or TPO's for short open up some exciting possibitlies such as digital printable custom shower curtains and wallcoverings

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Topics: PEVA, PEVA shower curtains, PEVA material

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