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Polyurethane ( PU ) films are very soft and stretchable. There’s a reason for this. Polyurethane ( PU ) is comprised of very long molecular chains, which provide it with elasticity. By comparison, Poly Vinyl Chloride ( PVC ) films is composed of molecules which are very rigid.
To make PVC films more elastic, PLASTICIZERS are added to the formulation. Plasticizers are oils which can leach out of the film, every time the garment is washed. As the plasticizing oils leach out of the PVC films, they can cause allergic reactions. Plasticizers have also been linked to other medical issues, which is why some plasticizers have been banned under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for use in the manufacture of children’s garments.
As plasticizers leach out of a PVC, the film increasingly becomes more rigid and brittle. Eventually, appliques manufactured from PVC heat transfer films will crack.
PU films do not need plasticizers to make them stretchable. These films are naturally elastic. That’s why appliques made from PU heat transfer films retain their flexibility and provide long-term service life. In fact, if garments are washed and dried properly, PU appliques should last as long as the garment itself.
Compared to PVC heat transfer films, PU heat transfer films provide other desirable performance properties. PU is also more abrasion resistant than PVC, which makes it ideal for punishing athletic applications. Used to decorate performance fabrics, PU heat tranfer films provide the elongation and memory, allowing the appliques to stretch as the fabric stretches.
Be aware that not all formulations of PU films are the same. While all of the RTape/SEF heat transfer films are 100% Polyurethane ( PU ), many other competitive products are classified as “ PU Based”. These PU Based heat transfer films are blends of PU and PVC.Because these blends contain PVC, they may not be CPSIA or OekoTex Standard 100 compliant.hat machine doesn't operate as it should.