For decades PVC has been a popular go-to material for many technical textile based applications due to its lightweight and other favorable characteristics. These days, we are witnessing a growing trend of manufacturers who turn away from PVC in search of better alternatives

Let’s take a look at the reasons behind this industry movement and suggest the most suitable candidate which is already gaining ground and takes its place. 

The Harmful Elements in PVC Textiles

Let’s take a brief look at the particular concerns that have caused PVC to fall out of favor in the industry. 

PVC textiles have a lot of negatives, but the most important ones are due to the production of harmful gasses that remain in the environment for extended periods of time. 

Hydrogen Chloride Gas 

A corrosive and highly toxic gas that causes severe respiratory problems. It dissolves in water bodies to disturb the ecological balance in the given area. Not only that, but PVC Chlorine tends to break away under UV exposure and react with other elements in the environment to cause other problems like global warming and food-chain toxic accumulations. 

Dioxins 

An extremely harmful group of compounds that the world recognizes as persistent environmental pollutants. Dioxins are among the most dangerous and toxic elements ever produced and cause multiple types of cancer. It’s so dangerous that the EPA doesn’t believe that there is any safe level of dioxin exposure and PVC is the largest contributor to the world’s dioxin burden.  

Phthalates

This is another carcinogen that can affect multiple essential human body systems. Phthalates come from the toxic glue and plasticizers that the PVC industry uses during the production process. When mixed with water, this compound, along with Vinyl Chloride, turns it toxic. That’s why PVC pipes are never recommended for drinking water systems.  

What Makes for an Ideal PVC Alternative?

When it comes to environment-friendly PVC alternatives, nothing beats Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). While TPU matches the physical and chemical characteristics of PVC textiles it is way better when environmental impact is considered. Unlike other polymer alternatives, TPU is an advanced material that is biodegradable, recyclable, and offers incredible strength. 

Beyond sustainability, TPU offers many advantages: 

  • High durability with the capacity to bear high loads
  • High elasticity and overall tensile strength
  • High abrasion and scratch resistance
  • Resistant to oil and other corrosive elements
  • Aesthetically pleasing 

As a business, it’s essential to stay updated with the changing industrial requirements and adapt accordingly. PVC textiles were all the rage in the past because of its pricing and alternative to rubber, but today, consumers demand sustainability along with excellent functionality. TPU is an ideal PVC alternative that can deliver what you need and beyond.

There is a good case for choosing TPU.

Sustainability

TPU is both biodegradable and 100% recyclable. It means that you don’t have to worry about the overall environmental impact of your products and can even benefit from incentives many governments offer for green and sustainable products. 

Furthermore, many countries and regulators require compliance with international sustainability and safety standards. TPU is the best candidate to help you meet these requirements without compromising the quality of your products.   

TPU does not include harmful chemicals 

One of the biggest drawbacks of PVC textiles is the exposure to harmful compounds (during production, for manufacturers and the users at later stages). TPU is free from harmful compounds and offers safer, more environment-friendly applications.   

TPU’s Enhanced physical characteristics

TPU is extremely durable. a longer life cycle of the fabric means that you won’t have to go through the energy-intensive process of manufacturing products again and again. Higher durability means that the TPU-based products will have a bigger operational lifespan, which will keep your customers happy and improve your standing in the market. 

TPU’s Unmatched performance

The overall physical and chemical properties of TPU allow it to deliver unmatched performance for a variety of applications. TPU products offer environmental resistance along with the capability to sustain damage through abrasion and rough usage. 

Furthermore, TPU also has a natural resistance to bacteria and other microbial contaminants. This PVC alternative doesn’t require a thick coating of the base fabric. 

All these combined qualities mean that TPU products offer excellent performance in harsh environments and industries like marine safety, boat manufacturing, water storage, secondary containment, and others. 

Ease of manufacturing TPU

Manufacturability is one of the primary considerations for designers and product developers. TPU is the most cost-effective material that checks all the boxes. If it’s too complicated to process and manufacture, using it won’t be a viable option. TPU is a PVC alternative that is REACH compliant (The gold standard for the European market) and weldable. This means that manufacturing products require a much simpler process. 

TPU Allows better ROI for your business

TPU offers superior quality and easier manufacturing. Which means that your business gets more benefits while minimizing the overall costs and compilations of the process, resulting in a much better ROI for your business. 

The Ideal PVC Alternative

TPU is an excellent PVC alternative that’s environmentally better, safer to manufacture, and delivers an overall better return on your investment through its durability and versatility. Material selection is an important part of any coated textile application and you should look for partners that offer an excellent blend of quality, sustainability, and price.

 

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