ORLANDO (ICIS)--Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) suppliers are developing new uses for the resin in the medical, transportation and consumer industries.
“It’s still one of the most chemical resistant polymers,” said Don Wiseman, head of performance products for PolyOne on the sidelines of the National Plastics Exposition. ”That’s an important property for plastics exposed to hand lotions, cleansers and solvents.”
PolyOne has found new uses for PVC, such as in light-emitting diode (LED) lighting applications. The company is using the plastic for metal-like light fixtures and lenses that diffuse light. PVC is ideal for these applications because it can stand up to the weather in outdoor lights and is resistant to corrosion and chemical cleansers.
In the past, there were some health concerns about PVC for some applications because of the use of phthalate-based plasticizers. But newer formulations mean it is considered safe for even medical applications.
PolyOne is also focusing on applications in the health care industry, where PVC has long been a standard material for blood bags and other sensitive applications.
With more people receiving higher-level health care at home, PolyOne is looking at PVC applications for easy-to-clean devices and wearable monitors.
“Hospital beds can weight 300 lb [140 kg], so if we can help reduce the weight, design smooth, cleanable surfaces and make it affordable, we think there is a vast market,” Wiseman said.