What’s The Difference Between Semi-Rigid Vinyl And Other Vinyl?

The term “vinyl” most commonly, refers to polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Vinyl comes in a range of densities, from soft vinyl clothing to hard vinyl floors and records. The vinyl industry presents consumers with myriad materials, from ethylene vinyl acetate to polyethylene vinyl acetate to polyvinyl butyral. Semi-rigid vinyl presents a versatile middle ground that lends itself to dozens of products across numerous sectors.

What Is Vinyl?
Vinyl derives from ethylene, produced by processing petroleum or natural gas, and chlorine. Chemical reactions combine ethylene and chlorine, creating ethylene dichloride, which is in turn converted into gas and finally undergoes polymerization. This process turns it into the white resin polyvinyl chloride. The addition of chemical additives and modifiers turns the resin into a usable product; the types of additives and modifiers used determine the rigidity of the vinyl.

Semi-rigid Vinyl Products
Many products contain numerous varieties of semi-rigid vinyl. Many consumers may be familiar with semi-rigid vinyl as the material found in luggage tag holders and the thick laminate pages used in crafts and office applications. Industrial and office suppliers use this material in the manufacture of adhesive labels and films, as well as in binders, I.D. badges, overlays, stationery products and tool pouches. Health-care professionals find semi-rigid vinyl in x-ray holders and many carrying cases, such as those used to hold defibrillators.

What’s The Properties Of Semi-rigid Vinyl?
Semi-rigid vinyl contains chemical modifiers that soften the material’s rigidity. These additives include homopolymers and copolymers of butyl acrylate, butyl methacrylate, ethyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate. These and other chemicals give semi-rigid vinyl increased flexibility when compared to rigid, hard-plastic PVC materials. Like other types of vinyl, semi-rigid vinyl features a smooth texture and high resistance to both moisture and flames.

Butyl acrylate(CAS: 141-32-2), with the molecular formula C7H12O, is an organic solvent that is a clear and colorless liquid. It has a fruity odor that is characteristic of the organic compound. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits the permissible exposure of butyl acrylate in air to only 10 ppm, or parts per million (this equates to 10 milligrams butyl acrylate per liter of air) concentration.

Precautions
As there is no cross-industry standard for the term “semi-rigid vinyl”, products that bear the label may consist of different material contents. Semi-rigid vinyl releases the human carcinogen dioxin when burned. Because of the extensive variety of additives used in semi-rigid and rigid vinyl products, recycling is a difficult process – only vinyls with the same chemical composition can be recycled together.