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Tyvek

Tyvek
Dupont Tyvek logo.svg
Product typeFlashspun nonwoven HDPE fiber
OwnerDuPont
CountryUnited States
IntroducedApril 1967; 52 years ago (1967-04)
Related brandsYUPO synthetic paper
MarketsConstruction, Packaging and labeling
TaglineWhat do you need to protect?™
Websitedupont.com/Tyvek
Tyvek house wrap

Tyvek (/tˈvɛk/) is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a registered trademark of the DuPont company, known for their production of chemicals and textiles. Tyvek is often used as housewrap, a synthetic material used to protect buildings during construction. The material is difficult to tear, but can easily be cut with scissors or a knife. Water vapor can pass through Tyvek, but liquid water cannot. All of these properties have led to Tyvek being used in a variety of applications.

History

Tyvek is a nonwoven product consisting of spun bond olefin fiber. It was first discovered in 1955 by a researcher for the DuPont textile company, named Jim White. While working in an experimental lab, Jim noticed a type of white fluff coming out of a pipe.[1] That fluff was a product known as polyethylene, which DuPont requested a patent for within a year of the discovery. After technologies improved during the next few years, in 1959 DuPont discovered that when the fluff was spun at high speeds it produced a durable fabric that was able to be cut with a blade. While the product Tyvek was used since 1959, DuPont did not trademark the actual brand until 1965, making it available for commercial purposes in April 1967.[2] As of 1970, Tyvek had reached the mainstream construction industry on both a national and global scale, and is often used for the construction of houses due to its ability to keep out liquid, while allowing vapor through.[3] In 1972, DuPont released Tyvek packaging for sterile instruments that were to be used by surgeons and doctors in the medical field.[4]

21st century

In 2017, DuPont and Focus DIY entered an current agreement to sell Tyvek along with DuPont’s other products at Focus DIY stores. In 2017, the DuPont company merged with another chemical company, The Dow Chemical Company to form DowDuPont. DowDupont currently manufactures Tyvek at the Spruance plant in Richmond, Virginia, and in Sandweiler-Contern, Luxembourg. In 2018, DowDuPont announced plans to expand the Tyvek production capacity of the Sandweiler-Contern factory.[5]

Scientific characteristics and properties

Tyvek USPS Express Mail envelope

Adhesion and bonding

DuPont recommends starch, dextrin, casein, and animal-based adhesives over most synthetic-based adhesives, emphasizing the effectiveness of water-based and quick-drying glues as the best for bonding Tyvek both to itself and to a variety of substrates. DuPont also claims that the following adhesives are highly effective:

Heat sealing can be used to melt Tyvek and cause it to bond to itself, but this form of bonding tends to create puckers in the otherwise flat material. Dielectric bonding can be effective in some circumstances, as is ultrasonic welding.[6]

Recycling

Though Tyvek superficially resembles paper (for example, it can be written and printed on), it is plastic, and it cannot be recycled with paper. Some Tyvek products are marked with the #2 resin-code for HDPE, and can be collected with plastic bottles as part of some municipal curbside recycling programs. DuPont runs a program in the United States where disposable clothing, coveralls, lab coats, medical packaging and other non-hazardous Tyvek disposable garments can be recycled, as well as providing a mail-in recycling program for envelopes.[7]

Recently, plastic bag recycling has become more prevalent. According to the American Chemistry Council, these plastic film drop-off locations accept Tyvek.[8]

Properties of Tyvek

According to DuPont's Web site, the fibers are 0.5–10 µm (compared to 75 µm for a human hair). The nondirectional fibers (plexifilaments) are first spun and then bonded together by heat and pressure, without binders.[9]

Tyvek is also:

  • Light weight
  • Class 1 flammability rating
  • Chemical resistant
  • Dimensional stabilized
  • Opaque
  • Neutral pH
  • Tear resistant

Uses

Construction/engineering

Tyvek envelopes
  • Large sheets of Tyvek are frequently used as "housewrap," to provide an air barrier between the outer cladding of a structure and the frame, insulation, etc., allowing water vapor to pass yet restricting air infiltration.[10]
  • Tyvek is used in archery to construct waterproof target faces, replacing paper.[11]
  • Tyvek was used to cover and protect the Reaction Control System (RCS) thruster ports from water and debris while the shuttle stack was exposed on the launchpad during the latter years of the Space Shuttle program.[12] The Tyvek covers were dislodged shortly after ignition and before the shuttle cleared the tower, posing no strike risk as the shuttle was travelling below 100 MPH.[13]
  • Tom Sachs used Tyvek for the outer shell of the spacesuits used in his Space Program series of artworks.[14]

Government use

Fashion/personal use

  • Race bibs, or race numbers are often produced on Tyvek paper, so they are less likely to rip during competition.[citation needed]
  • Tyvek is often used in garment and other textile labeling due to high durability and washability.[19]
  • Tyvek wristbands are used at festivals, conventions, and events where admission and security are concerns,[20] as well as hospitals, resorts, nightclubs, schools, and reunions.
  • More recently fashion retailer and manufacturer American Apparel has included white Tyvek shorts as part of its range.[21]
  • In 1976, fashion house Fiorucci made an entire collection out of Tyvek.[22]
  • Rock band Devo is known for wearing large, two-piece Tyvek suits with black elastic belts and 3-D glasses. In 1979, Devo appeared with Tyvek leisure suits and shirts made specifically for the band, with the band's own designs and images.[citation needed] In 2005 Dynomighty Design introduced stitchless Tyvek wallets which can be customized with whatever imagery the customer chooses.[23]
  • The ultralight backpacking community has begun to use Tyvek for the construction of extremely light yet durable backpacks.[24] In 2012, The Open Company released a foldable city map made of one of the stiffer variants of Tyvek.[25]
  • British company Bo-borsa has produced a range of Tyvek tote bags, handbags, backpacks and light luggage
  • Increasingly, reused Tyvek material is being used by home crafters. Protective sleeves for Compact Discs and DVDs, tote bags,[26] and origami wallets [27][28] also use Tyvek-containing materials.
  • Tyvek is also used as a durable fabric in shoes.[29][30]
Tyvek coveralls

Medical

  • Tyvek coveralls are one-piece garments, usually white, commonly worn by mechanics, oil industry workers, painters, insulation installers, and laboratory and cleanroom workers where disposable, one-time use coverall is needed. They are also used for some light HAZMAT applications, such as asbestos and radiation work, but do not provide the protection of a full hazmat suit. Tychem is a sub-brand of Tyvek rated for a higher level of liquid protection, especially from chemicals. DuPont makes Tyvek clothing in different styles from laboratory coats and aprons to complete head-to-toe coveralls with hoods and booties. The latter was notably used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force as emergency limited CBRN gear during the Fukushima nuclear incident.[31]
  • Tyvek is extensively used for laboratory and medical packaging as the material withstands conditions such as Gamma irradiation or Ethylene Oxide gas which are used to sterilize equipment and surgical devices.[32][33]
  • NSW Police, Australia uses Tyvek overalls to keep the integrity of alleged criminals' bodies at a crime scene, until they have had a chance to do body swabs.[34]

See also

References

  1. ^ admin. "Tyvek® brand - For Greater Good™". Archived from the original on 2007-12-07.
  2. ^ "DuPont™ Tyvek® Marks 40 Years of Energy Efficiency and Protection". DuPont. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09.
  3. ^ "History of Weather Barrier". www2.dupont.com. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  4. ^ www.dupont.com (PDF) [www.dupont.com]. Retrieved 2018-12-11. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "DuPont Announces $400 Million Tyvek Expansion". Nonwovens Industry Magazine - News, Markets & Analysis for the Nonwovens Industry. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  6. ^ "Seaming and Sealing with DuPont™ Tyvek®". DuPont. 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  7. ^ admin. "Recycling - DuPont Tyvek® for Industrial Packaging - DuPont USA".
  8. ^ "Plastic Film and Bag Recycling Collection: National Reach Study" (PDF). Moore Recycling Associates Inc.
  9. ^ Product Handbook for DuPont Tyvek
  10. ^ DuPont: Tyvek Weatherization Systems archive Pdf
  11. ^ "Amazon.com : American Whitetail H-36 Flat Archery Target Face, Square, Tyvek Fiber Paper, 36" Size, Multicolor : Industrial & Scientific". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  12. ^ [ntrs.nasa.gov]
  13. ^ Dashcam on a Space Shuttle - FRONT WINDOW launch. 2 March 2011 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Keats, Jonathon. "Artist Tom Sachs' DIY Space Program Is Outmaneuvering Elon Musk And NASA With Plywood And Tyvek". Forbes.
  15. ^ "Upgrading driver licences from paper to photo (Factsheet 54) - NZ Transport Agency". nzta.govt.nz.
  16. ^ Costa Rica Tyvek Envelopes
  17. ^ Isle of Man Bradvek Banknotes
  18. ^ Haitian Tyvek Banknotes 1980 and 1982 issues
  19. ^ "Printed Tyvek Labels - Fast Turnaround - Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling - Fabriclabels.com". www.fabriclabels.com.
  20. ^ uk.orakel.com
  21. ^ "Tyvek Short - Shop American Apparel". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  22. ^ "What is Tyvek? Everything You Need to Know - Doranix". Doranix. 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  23. ^ "MIGHTY WALLET - THE ORIGINAL TYVEK® WALLET SINCE 2005". dynomighty. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  24. ^ McNall, Ralph. "Tyvek Backpack". Forum Post.
  25. ^ Doctorow, Cory (February 2012). "Clever-folding tyvek San Francisco map, with out-of-the-way landmarks". Blog Post. Boing Boing. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  26. ^ "DuPont™ Tyvek® for Disc Packaging Sleeves". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  27. ^ How to make a Tyvek Wallet on YouTube
  28. ^ CD DVD DuPont White Tyvek Sleeves with 4" Clear Window and Flap (Automated Packaging Grade) 100 Pack Amazon
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-06-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "No Canvas, No Leather: A Reboot for the Sneaker". The New York Times. 31 August 2014.
  31. ^ Boosting SDF’s Nuclear Accident Response Capabilities. Japan Security Watch. July 13th 2011. Accessed 11th October 2014.
  32. ^ "New Products and Services". Infection Control. 3 (4): 342–348. 1982. doi:10.1017/S0195941700056459. JSTOR 30146417.
  33. ^ "Medical Device Packaging | DuPont™ Tyvek® 1073B". DuPont USA. Archived from the original on 16 September 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  34. ^ workflow-process-service. "Crime scene protection with DuPontTM Tyvek® | DuPont South Africa". www.dupont.co.za. Retrieved 2018-11-28.

External links