PVC Benefits & Uses
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is an excellent choice for medical and surgical tubing. PVC is strong, stable, flexible, and safe for medical use.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was first discovered as a thick, stiff material, like the PVC piping found at any hardware store. PVC is naturally rigid, even brittle, which led to frustration in early attempts at commercial adoption. Over time, materials scientists discovered that certain additives made PVC much easier to use and process, which quickly led to greater demand and widespread use of PVC compounds. Additionally, research and development has resulted in highly flexible PVC products with many of the same performance properties as rubber.
PVC is non-toxic, inert, and chemically stable once it’s finished. PVC compounds do not off-gas or leach toxic chemicals.
Benefits of PVC
Flexible PVC tubing is naturally free of latex protein allergens, an important benefit in the medical and surgical industries, where potential natural latex protein allergies of patients and medical professionals must be considered. Flexible PVC products, such as medical-grade PVC tubes, also do not tear easily and can be bent, twisted, and manipulated in service without showing signs of wear.
Rigid PVC is also usually less expensive than glass, wood, or metal, making it a cost-effective choice. PVC is also more flexible than some traditional building materials. Both flexible and rigid PVC products are extremely durable and can withstand a rigorous service environment.
PVC is thermoplastic, meaning it changes shape when heated. This means PVC can be molded into virtually any form and is highly versatile. PVC also offers excellent dimensional stability and can be used for precision parts. PVC products are highly resistant to weather, moisture, and impact.
PVC is highly recyclable and can be reused over and over without showing any signs of degradation. Recycled PVC can be found in many PVC products today.
Non Toxic – Medical Grade Tubing
PVC is naturally latex-free and presents no risk of triggering a latex allergy or sensitivity, making it a safe choice for medical tubing. PVC is also biocompatible and very easy to sterilize.
PVC compounds can be soft and highly flexible, which is vital for medical tubing. Flexible PVC can be bent, handled, and manipulated without tearing or cracking, making it plenty durable for a fast-paced medical environment. PVC can also handle extended exposure to a variety of fluids, making it safe for long surgical procedures.
Additionally, PVC offers excellent clarity. Medical-grade PVC tubing allows healthcare professionals to maintain visual contact with liquid flow in medical and surgical settings.
PVC is excellent for medical applications because it’s so easy to sterilize. This makes it a popular choice for the food and beverage industry as well. Food-grade PVC has many applications in storage and packaging throughout the food and beverage supply chain.
Perhaps the most widely known use for PVC is PVC piping, which can be found in most hardware stores. PVC is durable, sturdy, and less expensive than metal. Additionally, PVC does not corrode, making it an excellent choice for many piping applications.
PVC is also a great construction material due to its strength and resistance to wear and moisture. PVC is self-extinguishing, meaning it ceases to burn when the source of fire is removed. It’s also a flame retardant and doesn’t burn as easily as other materials. PVC is commonly used in decking, roofing, windows, and sidewall.
Because PVC is moisture resistant, it’s commonly found in waterproof consumer products, such as raincoats, rain boots, and shower curtains.
Kent Elastomer Products
Kent Elastomer Products is an experienced flexible PVC tubing manufacturer. We make medical-grade PVC tubing for a variety of applications, including surgical tubing, blood pressure cuff tubing, and more. We offer PVC compounds that meet FDA food grade and USP Class VI requirements.
Kent Elastomer Products offers many options for customization, including tubing diameter, wall thickness, cut length, and color matching. KEP also offers on-site packaging and labeling, making us your one-stop shop for high-quality PVC tubing.
To learn more about our PVC compounds and additional services, get in touch with a materials expert at KEP today!
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