Vinyl resin is an extremely versatile thermoplastic polymer suitable for a wide range of applications. Vinyl resin attains its usefulness through various additives that allow it to be used in a multitude of markets and products – everything from automotive parts to medical tubing, from building and construction to children’s toys. Vinyl is very durable, relatively cost efficient and meets stringent regulations and requirements mandated by many industries.
Vinyl Resin is the backbone material of Vinyl compounds; assorted additives are then mixed-in which determine characteristics such as flexibility, color and weatherization/UV ability. Some material enhancements that can be achieved from additives include:
- Flame Resistance (UL94HB-VO, FMVSS302)
- UV Stability (QUV)
- Low Temperature Flexibility
- Chemical Resistance
- Fungus Resistance
- Heat Resistance
- Non-Migrating Plasticizers
Specific additives produce specific characteristics in Vinyl compounds. Low temperature flexibility and cold impact can be improved with the appropriate additives. When plasticizers are added, they will soften the compound to make it more pliable for processing. Stabilizers - made from mixed metals - are used to protect the compound from degrading due to the heat of processing. Since there are many outdoor applications for Vinyl compounds, a UV stabilizer and special pigments can be incorporated to resist weathering.
Lubricant additives are used both internally and externally. Internally they lubricate the polymer chains and externally they reduce the friction between the Vinyl compound and the metal surfaces it contacts during processing. Certain additives can raise the chemical resistance and lower the migration for Vinyl compounds that come in contact with oils, grease, or other polymers. Fillers, usually of calcium carbonate and calcined clay, are most often added for economic reasons. They also affect the physical properties and the processing of the compound.
Although Vinyl resin is inherently a flame retardant material, certain additives such as plasticizers can increase the flammability of the compound. To counteract this undesirable characteristic, a variety of flame retardant additives can be utilized such as antimony trioxide, and alumina trihydrate. Antimicrobials are used in applications where resistance to bacteria and fungus are necessary. The most commonly utilized antimicrobials are based on obpa and octhilinone. Flexible Vinyl compounds are protected from photo degradation by adding ultra violet stabilizers. The most commonly used are hindered amines, benzotriazoles, and benzophenones.
Vinyl compounds can be developed in a range of color applications by adding colorants. In addition, material enhancements of Vinyl compounds can be achieved by blending in additional polymers such as nitrile rubber and polyurethane.