What is Vinyl?
Most individuals are familiar with vinyl records, vinyl gloves, and vinyl siding. However, they hardly know what vinyl is. The latter is a synthetic human-made material, but not a natural substance.
It exists in the form of plastic produced from chlorine and ethylene. Notably, chlorine is found in regular salt whereas ethylene is taken from crude oil. When combined during processing, these two substances form Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) resin commonly known as Resin (Jezek, 2015). Besides, vinyl was discovered in 1920 by scientists who were interested in developing the material that would probably help them in daily manufacturing products, which were more durable, cheap and easy to make by contrast to what was available back then (Jezek, 2015). Evidently, vinyl is commonly used by many consumers as industrial goods. Further, the industry that produces vinyl has over $4billion in sales. Moreover, it employs over 100,000 people. More than 14 billion pounds of vinyl products are manufactured every year in North America (Jezek, 2015). Therefore, this product is significant to human beings since it is cost efficient, strong, and durable; additionally, it withstands corrosion and rust and has the application in numerous fields such as medicine, toys industry, electrical purposes, and it is also utilized in making custom banners. However, the plastic used in manufacturing can be harmful to people.
The Common Properties of Vinyl
Vinyl is regarded as one of the cheapest materials. Besides, vinyl products appear in different colors, they are solid and transparent (Jezek, 2015). The product is also resistant to humidity and moisture. The plastic material used in making vinyl is strong and durable as well. Since it is made from plastic, it can easily be recycled. Due to its durability, the products manufactured from this material are said to have a long lifespan. Furthermore, vinyl is friendly to the environment due to its recycling ability and other reasons. Vinyl helps in preserving environmental resources since 57% of the products are made from the common salt (Jezek, 2015). Undeniably, the latter is a natural substance that can be renewed. Crude oil utilized in processing accounts for 43% of the vinyl resin (Jezek, 2015). As a result, this makes it the friendly material.
In comparison with other materials used by the packing industry, vinyl requires small amounts of natural resources in its manufacturing process. Moreover, less energy is needed in production. Besides, the levels of emissions released to the environment are lower. Since resin can easily be combined with various modifiers and additives, vinyl meets the demands for products in numerous industries (Jezek, 2015). The fundamental properties of vinyl are its low cost, performance properties, and versatility. Being strong and durable, it withstands corrosion and rust.
Various Applications and Uses of Vinyl
Due to its excellent performance, vinyl has diverse applications in various industries as well as in the manufacturing of many products. To begin with, vinyl has several medical purposes. It is an essential material in the production of some medical items. Due to non-hazardous properties, this product has many medical uses (Jezek, 2015). Vinyl is utilized in making gloves, valves, blood bags, mouthpieces and ear protectors. Furthermore, it contributes to the manufacturing of dialysis equipment, catheters, inhalation masks and medical sealants among others.
In the construction industry, vinyl has many applications as well. It is the leading material regarding its role in the building and construction industries. Notably, 60% percentage of the vinyl made in the US is used for furnishings and construction purposes (AZoM, 2017). For the latter, vinyl is necessary in roofing, covering for floors and walls, electrical conduit, decking, fencing, and railing (AZoM, 2017). Moreover, it appears as landfill lines, fire sprinkler piping, and piping for water distribution.
In the auto industry, vinyl has numerous applications. Most importantly, it is used as sealants for shock absorbers, in addition to the material for floor mats, car body moldings, constructing armrests and dashboards as well as under-hood cables and wiring among others (AZoM, 2017). In different areas, vinyl is contributes to manufacturing toys for children. Since it is easily cleaned, safe for kids and cost efficient, vinyl is used in making popular playthings. Even when infants place the toys in their mouths, the latter can cause no harm to them. Thus, due to its flexibility, vinyl can be employed in making various forms of toys. Furthermore, vinyl is the constituent part of the electronic products. It also plays the role of waterproofing agent for numerous products.
Undeniably, vinyl is one of the commonly used materials due to its cost efficiency. The effectiveness begins immediately when the product is manufactured (AZoM, 2017). Hence, it continues throughout the product’s lifecycle and encompasses elements such as energy of the processing, disposal costs, maintenance requirements and energy used for transportation and distribution. Therefore, vinyl performs excellently compared to other materials in numerous environmental and economic performance categories. The beneficial aspects of vinyl affect various aspects of human daily life. Since it neither corrodes nor rusts, this material can be found in water pipes, which deliver clean water. In sewer pipes, vinyl ensures the integrity of wastewater handling systems (AZoM, 2017). As a matter of fact, PVC pipe installations can last up to 50 years thus minimizing raw material consumption.
Vinyl is a suitable choice for tubing and blood bags. Therefore, it helps in maintaining world’s blood supply. Furthermore, it aids in supporting basic healthcare procedures, for instance, dialysis. In packaging, vinyl plays a significant role in keeping food fresh and safe during transportations (AZoM, 2017). It also assists in tampering with food packaging. Since vinyl is resistance to high electrical voltage and is able to bend, it has become the leader material for cable and wire insulation. Additionally, it prolongs the motor vehicle lifespan due to its application as under body coating.
Vinyl Health and Health Risk Estimates
To some extent, vinyl is considered a plastic that is toxic to the environment and human health. For over 30 years, environmental justice and leading health organizations worldwide have been campaigning for curtailing this poison plastic (Workgroup for Safe Markets, 2017). During its lifecycle from the process of production to its use and disposal, vinyl releases toxic chemicals, which have been regarded cancerous. Furthermore, these chemicals cause severe chronic illness and congenital disabilities. Many workers were contaminated and poisoned in the process of vinyl production. The manufacturing of PVC releases dangerous pollutants such as vinyl chloride, PCBs, ethylene dichloride, mercury, furans, and dioxins. Moreover, vinyl plastics expose children and adults to harmful substances, for instance, organotin, lead, and cadmium (Workgroup for Safe Markets, 2017). The latter are of major concern to the society.
When PVC wastes are disposed to incinerators and landfills, they release furans and dioxins, which are hazardous. When vinyl burns through accidental fires, dioxin and other dangerous chemicals are emitted thus posing deadly peril to firefighters as well as building occupants. In summary, there is no safe way of manufacturing, discarding or even using vinyl plastics. The vinyl production facilities are under Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations (Workgroup for Safe Markets, 2017). For this reason, all emissions are regulated by EPA and are also accountable to the federal and state law.
Undeniably, vinyl makes beautiful banners at a reduced cost. Moreover, custom vinyl banners can be used for various occasions. In fact, the birthday party banners are perfect and the most attractive ones (AZoM, 2017). Vinyl can also be applied in making business and graduation banners. Notably, the vinyl signs come in different sizes in order to accommodate the event. Besides, vinyl banners are durable and water resistant. Thus, they can remain great both outdoors and indoors. Vinyl offers a variety of hanging options such as grommets, banner stands, and clear tabs. Therefore, one can apply these banners with pride anywhere.
Regarding installation, vinyl banners are the easiest signage to install. Strings, codes, and bungees are attached at the corner grommets to an object that is stationary, in particular poles. Washers and Screws can also be used in installing the banners to rigid backgrounds such as concrete and wood (AZoM, 2017). However, zip ties and strings can be employed in connecting posts or fences. Concerning the custom-made banners, one is supposed to clean them with fresh, warm water regularly. The banners should be left to dry before storing. The best way of storing the banners is by rolling and keeping them in a dry area. In case of any wrinkles in the banners, they should appear in a couple of hours when the banner is subjected to heat or is placed in the sun.
In conclusion, vinyl is crucial to human beings. Undeniably, this product has many applications. For instance, it can be used in the manufacture of medicine, toys and electrical devices. Furthermore, vinyl is utilized in the automobile industry. Its fundamental properties are low costs, durability, ability to withstand corrosion and rust, performance characteristics and versatility. In addition, vinyl is cost effective. EPA regulates vinyl production facilities. However, the process of the PVC production is hazardous to the environment and people as well. Vinyl plastics expose children and adults to harmful chemicals such as organotin, lead, and cadmium. Improper disposal of PVC can also be dangerous. Moreover, vinyl makes beautiful banners. It can also perfectly perform the role of custom banners for parties and other significant events.