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  1. Understanding PVC Welding

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    Understanding PVC Welding

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—sometimes called vinyl—is a plastic material that comes in many variations, such as rigid or flexible, clear and opaque, and glossy or matte. It is widely available in film form, which is used to manufacture a wide range of parts and products for various home and business needs.

    One of the most common manufacturing processes PVC film undergoes is welding. Through this process, it is turned into many different components for a diverse set of industrial and commercial markets, such as adhesive decals, automobile and boat seats, and medical bags.

    Below, we provide an overview of the PVC welding process. We highlight what it is, what benefits it offers, how it is used, and what techniques are available.

    What Is PVC Welding?

    PVC welding is a plastic welding process used to permanently join separate pieces of PVC. It involves heating and/or melting the material at the join surfaces, pressing the pieces together, and allowing them to cool. Once the material on both pieces has cooled, the two pieces are bonded together at the molecular level.

    Advantages of PVC Welding

    Compared to other bonding methods, PVC welding has numerous advantages. For example:

    • It can bond material without requiring mechanical fasteners or adhesives, which helps reduce material and equipment costs.
    • It can join materials that are difficult to bond with solvent.
    • It can assemble components with complex geometries or unusual bonding angles.
    • It can form an airtight seal.
    • It can create joined assemblies without adding a significant amount of weight.

    Even in manufacturing and assembly projects where fasteners or adhesives are appropriate, welding offers unique benefits that can make it a better option. These include:

    • Less surface preparation requirements
    • Shorter cure and set times (depending on the welding method)
    • More ergonomic joints and aesthetically pleasing bonds
    • Better recyclability

    Applications of PVC Welding

    The above advantages and benefits make PVC welding a popular manufacturing method across a wide range of industries, including:

    • Aeronautics
    • Agricultural
    • Automotive
    • Industrial
    • Marine
    • Plumbing

    PVC Welding Techniques

    There are many PVC welding methods available, each of which has distinct characteristics that make it suitable for different joining applications.

    Friction Welding

    Friction or ultrasonic welding relies on friction to heat and fuse two pieces of PVC together. The pieces move relative to one another as a lateral force displaces them. This method is commonly used by manufacturers in the aerospace and automotive industries.

    Extruded Bead Welding

    Extruded bead welding involves the application of hot plastic between two sections of PVC. Once the plastic is applied, the sections are pressed together to form the bond.

    Hot Gas Welding

    Hot gas welding utilizes heat guns to soften a filler rod and the join surfaces on the PVC pieces before they are pressed together. This method is often utilized for small plumbing fittings, water tanks, and other industrial parts and products.

    Hot Plate Welding

    Hot plate welding employs a heated metal plate to heat the join surfaces before they are pressed together. The surface of the plate is coated with PTFE to prevent the PVC from sticking to it.

    High-Frequency Welding

    High-frequency or RF welding is used to weld materials that contain chemical dipoles (e.g., PVC and polyurethane). The PVC pieces are placed on a table press, where high-frequency waves are directed at the join section. Afterward, the pieces are pressed together to form the bond.

    Solvent Welding

    Solvent welding uses solvents to soften the join surfaces of the PVC pieces before they are pressed together. When the solvent evaporates, the pieces reharden, forming a durable bond.

    Laser Welding

    Laser welding utilizes a laser to heat the join line between two pieces of PVC as they are held together. The heat melts the material at the join line, forming the weld.

    Induction Welding

    Induction welding involves the placement of a conductive metal piece between the two pieces of PVC. A high-frequency generator is then used to heat the metal until it softens the surrounding plastic material. Once the two pieces are sufficiently softened, they are pressed together.

    Contact the PVC Film Experts at Adams Plastic Today

    PVC welding plays a key role in the manufacture of many industrial and commercial products. While the low cost of the material makes it a popular option for many manufacturing projects, it is important to source the material from a reliable supplier that can readily adapt to changing production needs. Otherwise, it may be difficult to accommodate greater or lesser demand in the future.

    Looking for a PVC film supplier you can trust to meet your business needs on your schedule? Adams Plastics is the ideal partner. We are an industry leader in the supply of PVC films, laminates, imitation leather, and more. For more information on our products, request a sample or request a quote today.

  2. Why Use PVC Film for Industrial Applications?

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    PVC film—also referred to as vinyl film—is a thin thermoplastic film available in a variety of forms and finishes. Depending on the requirements and restrictions of the intended application, it can demonstrate rigidity or flexibility and feature a clear, colored, translucent, opaque, matte, or glossy finish. Due to its versatile nature, the material finds use across a wide range of industrial applications, ranging from shower curtains to pharmaceutical packaging.

    Why is PVC Frequently Used?

    Compared to other thermoplastic film materials, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film offers several advantages, including:

    • Durability. PVC is highly durable, exhibiting exceptional resistance to damage due to harsh environmental conditions such as corrosive chemicals, abrasion, shock, and impact. These properties make it suitable for use in medium to long term applications involving exposure to external environments.
    • Operational and environmental safety. PVC is non-toxic and thoroughly tested for environmental effects. It meets a variety of domestic and international health and safety standards, including those outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), and International Safety Standards (ISS).
    • Fire resistance. Due to its high chlorine content, PVC is highly resistant to fire. It does not ignite easily or produce a great deal of heat when burned. However, as it can emit harmful chemicals when melted or burned, those handling the material in operations involving open flames or high temperatures should take the proper precautions to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. It is also self-extinguishing.
    • Non-conductivity. PVC does not conduct electricity, which makes it suitable for use as an insulator in industrial and mechanical components and buildings.
    • Cost-effectiveness. Despite its numerous advantages, PVC is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to manipulate into desired shapes and sizes. These qualities make it a cost-effective material option for industrial applications.
    • Versatility. The physical properties of PVC allow it to accommodate a wide range of applications, as outlined below.

    What is PVC Film Used For?

    PVC film is a form of PVC used widely in industrial applications, such as:

    Waterproof Enclosures and Products

    The exceptional durability and water resistance of PVC film make it an excellent material for outdoor and indoor waterproof enclosures and products, such as canopies, tents, and shower curtains.

    Furniture and Supply Covers

    PVC film is an excellent product for the fabrication of furniture covers and protective products such as food delivery bags and imitation leather. Covers and products made with PVC film are weatherproof, easy to maintain, and can be laminated for additional protection.

    Windows and Siding

    PVC’s insulating and heat resistant properties, coupled with its durability, make PVC film an ideal option for use in window covers and siding.

    Packaging Materials

    Industry professionals use both rigid and flexible PVC film to manufacture packaging materials. For example, flexible film can be used to create tamper-resistant seals for products such as consumer goods, food and beverages, and pharmaceuticals, while rigid film is suitable for packaging materials such as clamshells.

    Custom PVC Plastics From Adams Plastics

    At Adams Plastics, we offer high-quality converting services to produce custom products from plastic materials such as PVC film. Our converting capabilities include laminating, slitting, sheeting, and printing. For more information on our products and services, contact us today. If you need assistance with your next plastic product project, reach out to our team to request a quote or sample.

  3. How Plastics Made Their Way into the NFL

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    Plastics find application in virtually every industry, ranging from aerospace and agriculture to retail and recreation. Industry professionals employ plastic materials, such as sheeting or film, in the manufacture of a variety of products for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

    At Adams Plastics, we specialize in vinyl film, laminates, and synthetic leather. With these quality materials, our customers create custom decals, labels, and graphic products for use in a diverse set of industries, including the professional sports industry.

    A History of the Modern Football Helmet

    Initially, football players did not use any protective headgear during games. It wasn’t until the turn of the twentieth century that they began wearing leather caps to mitigate the risk of severe injury. Over time, manufacturers started developing helmets that offered both protection and comfort. Through numerous design iterations, the modern football helmet was born—a device carefully designed and manufactured to keep players safe from serious head and face injuries such as concussions.

    In contrast to the leather used in early protective headgear, plastic serves as the primary material used in the construction of these more modern helmets. In addition to providing greater durability and shock and impact absorption, the material also provides a smooth surface for teams to personalize the helmets with custom decals.

    Sports leagues, such as the NFL, use customized decorative decals to add team logos and other identification information to make individual members more recognizable and marketable. Compared to stickers, the decals are specially designed to establish a seamless finish and survive wear and tear throughout multiple games.

    How to Apply Vinyl Decals

    While vinyl helmet decals are created to withstand use across multiple games, optimizing their longevity necessitates proper application. When applying decals to a helmet, there are few considerations to keep in mind to ensure the establishment of a long-lasting hold, such as:

    • Using a high-quality decal. Teams should order decals from a reputable decal supplier—one that makes thick decals that offer greater resistance to ripping, tearing, wrinkling, and fading.
    • Cleaning the application surface. Before applying a decal to a helmet, make sure the entire surface is clean and dry. Compounds such as dirt and water create a thin film between the adhesive layer and the helmet’s surface that prevents an adhesive bond from forming properly.
    • Applying polishing wax after decal application. Ensure that all decals are added to a helmet before subjecting it to polishing. Similar to dirt and water, polishing wax can decrease the effectiveness of a decal’s adhesive.

    Vinyl Decal Design Options

    In addition to featuring a custom graphic design, vinyl decals can vary in regard to finish. Some of the finish options available include:

    • Chrome finishes with a metallic sheen
    • Matte finishes with a non-shiny surface
    • Metallic flake finishes for a glittery look that intermittently captures light

    These customization choices, among others, allow teams to achieve a look that matches the aesthetic of their marketing or branding.

    At Adams Plastics, we proudly supply high-quality materials to customers who produce custom helmet decals, including those used by NFL teams. The decals featuring our materials are completely personalized and built to showcase striking details and colors that make every player identifiable even from the top of the stadium seats.

    Get in Touch With the Plastic Suppliers at Adams Today

    Adams Plastics provides high-quality vinyl rolls that can be used in a wide range of applications, such as on football helmets. In addition to finding use in decals, they are also commonly used in labels, stickup pockets, and other graphic product applications that use converted plastics. While we specialize in vinyl, we can supply other materials upon customer request, such as PVC film, laminate, and imitation leather.

    For more information on our products and services, contact us today. To bring NFL-quality branding to your local team, reach out to our team to request your PVC quote or sample.

  4. Vinyl Companies Help Fight The Pandemic

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    Small businesses in Texas and Utah step up to provide much needed help during the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more by clicking on the articles below to see how these vinyl companies shifted their focus to produce masks and helmet-style ventilation devices.

    Utah company producing face shield masks:

    Texas company producing ventilator helmets:

  5. Benefits Of Antimicrobial Copper

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    Copper and its alloys are naturally antimicrobial—they destroy germs without the use of bleach or other chemicals, a quality that has been recognized in some form for thousands of years. For example, ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Aztecs used copper to treat wounds and sterilize water.

    Today, antimicrobial copper can be used on high-touch surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs. It begins to kill bacteria such as E. Coli and superbugs like MRSA within minutes, even though these microbes can live on other hard surfaces for days. A 2015 study demonstrated that copper could deactivate human coronavirus 229E, and more recent studies have indicated it’s as effective against COVID-19 as well. Given its long-proven ability to combat pathogens, there is a call to use more copper surfaces in hospitals and high-touch public areas.

    Antimicrobial Copper Products

    Antimicrobial copper breaks down pathogens in a complex process. Copper ions enter the pathogen cell after the cell recognizes them as vital nutrients. The ions rupture the cell membrane, weakening it. As copper ions continue to flow into the cell, they increasingly interfere with the cell’s metabolism until the pathogen can no absorb nutrients or multiply. Antimicrobial copper products have demonstrated their ability to do this with a wide variety of viruses and bacteria.

    A treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 could be months or years in the making. Our best course of action for now is to stop the spread, and antimicrobial copper can play a role in that process.

    Antimicrobial Copper Laminating Film

    While it may be prohibitively expensive or time-consuming to replace every surface in a facility with copper, Adams Plastics has come up with an alternative: Safe Touch Antimicrobial Film. It’s easy to apply over existing materials and offers the same sterilizing properties. It’s a semi-permanent solution that can easily be reapplied when the original Safe Touch Antimicrobial Film gets damaged. Like copper itself, it’s safe for humans and safe for the environment.

    This antimicrobial laminate can be applied to a wide variety of high-touch surfaces:

    • Grocery cart handles
    • Public transportation handles
    • Stair railings
    • Doorknobs
    • Toilet handles
    • Elevator buttons
    • Card readers
    • Mobile phone protective screen covers

    The medical industry in particular would benefit from the use of antimicrobial copper products in hospitals and clinics. Studies have shown as much as a 90% reduction in live bacteria on high-touch surfaces in busy hospitals and intensive care units.

    Get In Touch With Adams Plastics

    Adams Plastics was founded in 1967, and over the last five decades we’ve become a leader in plastic film and recycling. We provide vinyl film, imitation leather, and laminate—as well as plastics recycling—for the healthcare, hospitality, marine, and automotive industries. With the rise of COVID-19, we saw the opportunity to put our years of experience with films and laminates to use to create an antimicrobial laminate that may serve us all during this health crisis—and through any that may arise in the future.

    To learn more about antimicrobial film, request a sample, request a quote for your project, or read our Safe Touch Antimicrobial Film Brochure. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.