• Tyvek  FAQs
    Tyvek FAQs Mar 27, 2023
    Following frequently asked questions about Tyvek materials, here are professional answers from materials experts. Q1: What kind of material is Tyvek?A: Tyvek is formed from continuous, fine filaments of HDPE that are randomly distributed and non-directional. Tyvek is available in two structures: “hard” (paper-like) and “soft” (fabric-like). Styles beginning with a 10 are “hard” and styles beginning with 14 or 16 are soft. Tyvek is naturally white—the GE brightness of Tyvek is 94.1 with no fillers or brightening agents.A: The two sides of Tyvek® are a little bit different. The smooth side is the “front side” and the rough side is the “back side” (which can be identified by comparing the two sides). Most physical properties such as water resistance, strength, etc. of the two sides are basically the same. Type 10 materials can be printed on both sides, but for best print quality the smooth side is preferred.  Type 14 materials should be printed on the smooth side.Q2: Why does Tyvek become delaminated after being rubbed?A: Tyvek can internally delaminate—that is, the front side separates from the back side--if exposed to shearing forces, such as rubbing the surface, creasing, or bending at a sharp angle. In this respect, Tyvek behaves as multilayer structure.Q3: Is Tyvek water resistant?A: Tyvek is equally strong wet or dry under ordinary conditions and ambient temperature (73.4°F [23°C]). Upon initial exposure, water will not penetrate Tyvek. With time, or increased water pressure, drops of water will go through Tyvek.  It is suggested that customers should test the performance of Tyvek for their specific application.Q4: Is Tyvek breathable?A: Tyvek is breathable, which means water vapor and gases can go through Tyvek.  The moisture vapor permeability of Tyvek is much higher than that of plastic films. Compared to most textile fabrics, the air permeability of Tyvek is low. Customers should evaluate Tyvek in their specific application. Q5: How is the folding endurance of Tyvek?A: Tyvek is very flexible and can be folded over and over without damage. Maps and book lamps make good use of this feature. Tyvek also has a memory effect, like paper.Q6: Is Tyvek stretchable?A: Tyvek is limited in stretch.Q7: What are the light reflection and light transmission properties of Tyvek?A: Laboratory tests show that Tyvek, without any special treatment, has good reflectivity to visible lights —usually above 90%. The transmittance of visible lights is about 10%. It is suggested that customers evaluate for their specific application.Q8: Is Tyvek UV resistant? How long will it last for outdoor use?A: Tyvek is not considered UV resistant and we do not recommend Tyvek for applications where constant sun exposure is expected. For intermittent or short-term sun exposure, some styles can be used, please consult DuPont sales for recommendation. It is suggested that customers test the UV performance of Tyvek for their specific application.Q9: Does Tyvek have anti-mold and antimicrobial properties?A: The antimicrobial requirements of a material depend on the specific industry and application in which it is used. Q10: What is the chemical resistance of Tyvek?A: Tyvek can resist most acidic and alkaline chemicals. For details, please refer to Tyvek guidelines (they can be downloaded from website).   Q11: Is Tyvek flame retardant? What is its melting point and ignition point?A: Tyvek should not be considered as flame retardant and its flammability is like most synthetic fibers.  Tyvek  type 10 has been tested according to ASTM E84-89a with a class A rating. Type 14 Tyvek has been tested according to 16 CFR 1610 with a class 1 rating. The melting point of Tyvek is 135°C and the ignition point of high density polyethylene is approximately 400°C. Specific flame-retardant requirements can be met by applying a special coating to Tyvek.Q12: Is Tyvek suitable for direct contact with food?A: Tyvek used in printing industry (type D or type R) is not recommended to be used in direct contact with food, but there are some Tyvek styles which can be used in direct contact with food. For details, contact a Tyvek sales team or Tyvek distributor.Q13: What is the shelf life of Tyvek? What are the storage conditions?A: Tyvek can be stored for many years indoors under controlled temperature and humidity. Do not store Tyvek in direct sunlight. Store Tyvek vertically on its ends, overwrapped with Tyvek or polyethylene film. Core plugs should be in place when roll handling.Q14: Is Tyvek environmentally friendly?A: Tyvek is made from high density polyethylene and is 100% recyclable. Products made from printed, glued, welded, or sewn Tyvek can be recycled, as can those made from Tyvek with lamination or coating of materials from the same polymer family.  Recycled Tyvek can be made into products such as automotive parts, plastic film, packaging, outdoor furniture and decking. Tyvek cannot be composted and does not readily biodegrade or decompose.Q15: How do you recycle Tyvek?A: Tyvek is made from 100% high-density polyethylene (HDPE). For this reason, pure Tyvek can be recycled as HDPE. Q16: Can we print on Tyvek? How can you improve the color fastness?A: Tyvek is printable with traditional printing techniques as well as with many digital technologies. The color fastness depends on the ink and the printing technique. Work with your printer and ink supplier to determine the best ink for the application.Q17: Can calico printing be used for printing on Tyvek?A: No, because the temperature of calico printing generally exceeds the melting point of Tyvek.Q18: Can digital printing be used for Tyvek?A: Yes. HP Indigo, UV inkjet, and Latex inkjet can be used to print on Tyvek.  Typical laser (dry toner electrophotography) is not recommended because the high temperature can melt Tyvek.  Water-based and solvent-based inkjet is possible on Tyvek that has been coated with an appropriate primer.Q19: Can Tyvek be dyed?A: The traditional dyeing process for cloth is not applicable for Tyvek. But the surface of Tyvek can be colored by printing. Q20: Can I write or paint on the surface of Tyvek? What kind of pen is appropriate?A: You can write or paint on Tyvek. General water-based pens are suitable for washable needs, alcohol-based pens are suitable for permanent writing or graffiti-art, and acrylic pigments are also suitable for painting on Tyvek.Q21: Can Tyvek be laminated? Will the process affect water resistant performance and breathability?A: Yes, like woven materials, Tyvek can be laminated with a variety of materials, the breathability and water resistant properties may be changed depending on the materials selected for lamination. Q22: Can Tyvek be sewn? How can a sewn seam be strengthened and water resistant performance improved in the sewn area of Tyvek?A: It can be sewed like a fabric. Because Tyvek is a non-woven fabric, it can be reinforced at the sewn area by adding other woven fabrics to improve the seam strength. In addition, composite materials or PU coating materials can be used if the overall water resistance performance needs to be improved, and water resistance tape can be used if the water-resistant performance of sewn area needs to be improved.Q23: Can ultrasonic sealing be used for Tyvek?A: Yes. Customers should determine the right equipment and settings for their specific application.Q24: What is the tear strength and joint slip property of apparel made of Tyvek?A: There is no data on this aspect of Tyvek application in apparel. We recommend that the customer make an evaluation based on their specific application. Q25: Can you mark the material description on the finished product label?A: If it is a pure Tyvek finished product, the material composition can be marked as 100% high-density polyethylene; if it is made of various composited or coated materials, it cannot be marked with 100% high density polyethylene. In that case, the customer needs to label the product composition according to the materials selected.Q26: Can apparel or bags made of Tyvek be washed with water? How can they be cleaned?A: Yes. For light cleaning, wipe with a damp cloth. For heavier cleaning, wash the item by hand or gentle machine cycle in cool water with mild detergent.  Hang to dry. Do not machine dry. Do not bleach.   Q27: Can PU coated Tyvek clothes be cleaned?A: Yes. For the washing method,for light cleaning, wipe with a damp cloth. For heavier cleaning, wash the item by hand or gentle machine cycle in cool water with mild detergent.  Hang to dry. Do not machine dry. Do not bleachQ28: Can Tyvek be ironed?A: Ironing is not recommended, because the heat of the iron will melt or damage Tyvek, Tyvek melts at 135°C. For more information, please click to download: Tyvek® User Guide.

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