From our shoes to those event tags they wrap around our wrists, Tyvek plays a major role. As a matter of fact, this material plays a huge role in such a wide variety of things. However, not many know much about Tyvek. Some do not even recognize this name or brand at all. Understandably, those who come from manufacturing companies and packaging companies may have some knowledge about this material but other than those people, there are only quite a few things we know about Tyvek.
Getting to Know Tyvek
So what is Tyvek? Basically, Tyvek is a synthetic material which is regarded as a brand of polyethylene fibers with high density. The brand Tyvek is registered as a trademark to its founding company, DuPont.
In 1955, a DuPont researcher, Jim White, discovered this nonwoven product consisting of olefin fiber. In his experimental laboratory, this researcher saw a fluff of polyethylene coming out of a pipe. According to DuPont, this material contains fibers that are 0.5 to 10 micrometre, much thinner than a human hair strand which is 75 micrometre. In order to bond these non-directional fibers, they are only heated and pressured without any binders.
Eventually, it was trademarked in 1965 and in 1967, it was finally introduced for commercial uses.
Tyvek became so popularly used in many fields because of its unique and beneficial properties. Among these properties are the following:
- Tyvek is resistant to chemicals.
- Tyvek has a neutral pH.
- Tyvek is lightweight.
- Tyvek is resistant to wear and tears.
- Tyvek has a dimensional stability.
The Uses of Tyvek
Actually, this material has so many uses. The following are only some of the many roles Tyvek plays.
- Tyvek sheets are often used as “house wrap” in order to provide insulation, air barrier and to allow water vapor to pass.
- Tyvek material is used for coveralls of mechanics, oil industry workers, radiation workers, cleanroom workers and other workers who use disposable coveralls.
- Tyvek is used as a fabric for durable shoes because of its properties.
- Tyvek is also now used for clothing. American Apparel has released its own range of Tyvek shorts.
- Tyvek is used for wristbands in festivals, conventions and other security-concerned events.Those hospital wristbands, as well, are made of this material.
- Tyvek has also replaced paper in archery target faces.
- Tyvek is used in FedEx documents, envelopes and even in driver’s license in New Zealand.
- Tyvek has contributed to making wallets as well as backpacks for the backpacking community.
- Tyvek is used in extensive packaging for medical and laboratory equipment and devices.
Among the many uses of Tyvek, its role in packaging and preserving sterilization in the medical field is one of its most important purposes. And since this material often replaces paper, it can be printed on. Tyvek printing has been present with the emergence of this material. However, Tyvek still falls under plastic and not paper and this is why Tyvek is not recyclable with paper. However, DuPont has been running a program of recycling one-time Tyvek coveralls. Tyvek is therefore also accepted in plastic recycling companies.