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Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Raw materials & technologies, Raw materials, Coatings binders

Plasma avoids migration of plasticizers in PVC

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Plasticizers increase the flexibility of PVC, but how to avoid the migration? Researchers have the answer now.

Plasma avoids migration of plasticizers

Source: Fotolia/Douglas Freer

Plasma avoids migration of plasticizers

Source: Fotolia/Douglas Freer

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a widely used polymer due to its attractive price:performance ratio. PVC becomes an attractive base material for the manufacture of, for example, clothing, hoses, tubing, toys, flooring and cable insulation when it contains additional substances, so-called plasticizers, to make it sufficiently flexible and soft for these applications.

The migration of plasticizers is not desirable because the Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products partly lose their desired processability properties, but also because some commonly used plasticizers, for example phthalates, are considered harmful to human health and the environment.

Plasma keeps the plasticizers in the PVC

A new technology which has been jointly developed by FILK Freiberg and Fraunhofer IST allows the production of films as thin as one micrometer on PVC that nevertheless present an effective barrier for the plasticizers. The technology uses the fourth state of matter, a plasma, as a tool. The particular type of plasma used is a near-room-temperature ambient-pressure plasma that contains small additions of vapors or aerosols of film-forming agents, typically siloxanes.

After this plasma-based technology has matured it may well become an interesting ecofriendly alternative to existing solutions, among its relevant key features being the effective reduction of plasticizer leaching combined with the preservation of the processability.

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