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Old 30-07-2022, 05:43 AM
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Default Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
Not to confuse or convolute things, this is a discussion from the below thread, as it kind of morphed in to discussing plasticizers used in PVC, from post #9 onwards.

https://www.blowtopop.net/showthread.php?t=23484

Originally Posted by PVC Vinyl Enthusiast View Post
For many years from the 50's to the 80's a plasticiser called DEHP or DOP was used to soften PVC sheeting. It was very effective and cheap and did give PVC that soft rubbery feeling we love. Unfortuanetly DOP is listed on the REACH doc as having potential carcinogenic and endocrine potential so it was banned from Kids toys and placed on the REACH doc as a precaution. The fact is that the amount of DOP you would have to be exposed to to cause any effect is almost impossible to achieve and the body is very good at eliminating any DOP in your body through urine. In fact the majority of Blood bags made worldwide are still made using DEHP because of its superior plasticing qualities.
So just to recap, I'm dealing with a sourcing company in Melbourne Australia. These folk travel to China and check out the manufacturers, quality controls to make sure what the client is wanting to purchase, they are actually going to get. I'm going down this root as Alibaba's scale of risk is way to high, should anything go wrong.

I submitted my project a month ago, the guy has been to china and has come back with a reply as of yesterday. I distinctly asked for DOP/DEHP based PVC with no ESBO, ELO, nor DINP. He noted that he'll ask the factory upon visiting china, and upon his return, this was part of his reply.

"In regard to the PVC it’s very difficult to be so specific with technical properties for a shipment of this size. It would likely need to be 50 to 100 times larger to be able to specify certain chemical properties and the material be made to order. At your quantity, the factory will purchase fit for purpose material within reasonable and safe requirements. Their official reply is as follows; “Sorry, we don't have the technical data sheet of the PVC. The quotation I gave you is environment-friendly material, which is fully in line with export standards.” "

So I surmising the manufacturer he is dealing with already has purchased the raw sheets of PVC, which will get cut and stitched to the clients order upon a request. So this would beg the question, if they are still factories that make "DEHP" based PVC, a wouldn't they be a manufacturer that would know this information, as in they would know the specifics of the product they're selling? and b Couldn't factory x purchased DOP based PVC sheeting from factory Y for a specific job, but ultimately, aren't they any reputable manufacturers that can use this kind of PVC from the get go without such mucking around.

I'm just starting to have my doubts about this sourcing company as I also specified in the brief that the inflatables were for therapy, in relation to a blind persons extra sensory ability for feel, so the softness of the DOP was the primary requirement. This was to avoid the looner stuff as it would have been awkward.

I'll email him on monday that the health concerns of DOP are rather questionable as such plasticizers are used for blood bags in hospitals. I'll reiterate my requirements, and see what he'll do, hopefully he'll follow up my particular specifications with another manufacturer.
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Old 04-08-2022, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
You might like to enquire with the UK-based PVC rainwear and fetishwear company, PVC-U-Like (PUL). The PVC they use in their raincoats and other items is very soft, and that's because it contains DINP (di iso nonyl phthalate), which is a high molecular weight phthalate and, therefore, regarded to be 'safer' than the lower molecular weight phthalates. You could tell them that you are hoping to source PVC inflatables containing phthalate plasticiser like DINP (if the low molecular weight phthalates DOP and DEHP are not available), and, considering that PUL use DINP-containing PVC sheeting to make their PVC rainwear and other PVC items, maybe they'll be able to give you the contact details of the China-based suppliers for the PVC sheeting they use? You could then ask China-based Inflatable Manufacturers, such as Hongyi, if they could use the DINP-containing PVC film in their custom inflatables.

Whatever you do, absolutely insist that NO NON-PHTHALATE plasticisers, such as ELO (Epoxidised Linseed Oil) and ESBO (Epoxidised Soybean Oil), are used in your custom inflatables! Non-phthalate plasticisers like ESBO and ELO do a terrible job at softening PVC, and they are absolutely inferior plasticisiers compared to phthalates- including the higher molecular weight phthalates like DINP. Furthermore, ELO and ESBO smell terrible- they smell strongly of rancid linseed oil, which makes the inflatable unpleasant to use, aside from the fact that the softness is very lacking with such inferior plasticisiers.

Last edited by PVC Vinyl Enthusiast; 04-08-2022 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 04-08-2022, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
footnote: I wonder if SHOSU would consider using a phthalate plasticiser, such as DINP, in their inflatables, to make them softer?
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Old 06-08-2022, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
Originally Posted by PVC Vinyl Enthusiast View Post
Whatever you do, absolutely insist that NO NON-PHTHALATE plasticisers, such as ELO (Epoxidised Linseed Oil) and ESBO (Epoxidised Soybean Oil), are used in your custom inflatables! Non-phthalate plasticisers like ESBO and ELO do a terrible job at softening PVC, and they are absolutely inferior plasticisiers compared to phthalates- including the higher molecular weight phthalates like DINP. Furthermore, ELO and ESBO smell terrible- they smell strongly of rancid linseed oil, which makes the inflatable unpleasant to use, aside from the fact that the softness is very lacking with such inferior plasticisiers.
Okay, update time, yes, Enthusiast, absolutely agree, this is why I was trying to get actual breakdowns of blends from this guy in Melbourne, but he wouldn't oblige, so I had to give him the flick. Through discussions with other folk in the industry, we were highly surmising that his Australian company had agents in China who were getting kick-backs from the factory, hence why he was so addiment to stick with this particular manufacturer.

I've just started enquiring with a sourcing place in Sydney, speaking to the proprietor, she noted that rather then relying on agents, they have their actual staff on the ground in China, and are actually paid by her company to sort any manufacturers out according to the clients spec, this place already sounds much more promising.

I need to ask you something though, you have me confused about this thing called "molecular weight". You are saying that the molecular weight of DINP is heavier then of DEHP and DOP, is this the reason why DEHP/DOP based PVCs feel vertually thinner. THough they are not actually thinner, the lighter molecular weight in DOP makes the inflatable feel more lighter, thus giving the illusion that the PVC has a thinner feel to the touch.

Could you please verify if i'm on the right path here, this will make conveying the specs of the project to the company so much easier.

If indeed this still falls through, I'll follow up your lead on the UK rain coat and fetish company. I'm just trying to stay local, so I can work with a team who I can meet occasionally face to face, should they be any issues that arise during the process.
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Old 06-08-2022, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
DINP is, in all honesty, likely just as effective a phthalate plasticiser as DEHP and DOP. The difference is that, chemically, as a higher molecular weight phthalate, it is deemed to be less 'harmful to health' than DOP and DEHP (with that being said, I'd happily come into contact with DOP or DEHP-softened PVC, as I think the actual health risks are blown way out of proportion).

PVC-U-like ( https://pvc-u-like.com/ ) use DINP-plasticised PVC for their raincoats, etc. I own a number of their raincoats, PVC bedding, etc, and I love the material's softness. I'd imagine that if DINP-softened PVC sheeting was fabricated into an inflatable, you'd be satisfied with its softness. I know I would, anyway.

I am not sure how easily it would be to obtain DOP or DEHP-softened PVC sheeting (for inflatable fabrication) these days. Thank the overzealous health and safety brigade for that. I think that DINP-softened PVC would be far, far softer to the touch, and far more, supple, compared to 6P-free PVC (6P-free PVC is PVC that is free of 6 types of phthalates; this 6P-free PVC is also known as 'environmentally-friendly PVC').

A factor contributing to the softness of PVC sheeting for inflatables and raincoats is the amount (i.e. percentage) of plasticiser added. Also, the thickness of the sheeting also contributes to the perceived softness and suppleness. Gary, the owner of PVC-U-Like, may be able to give you some in-depth technical details regarding phthalates and the optimum % for A soft PVC product).

Last edited by PVC Vinyl Enthusiast; 06-08-2022 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
Enthusiast, many thanks for the clarification, the excellent information, and for the great leads, I wil follow up if the australian contacts fall through. I'lll contact Gary to get some advise on thickness and percentages regarding the plasticizers.

WHen submitting the project brief, I will stipulate DEHP/DOP as a preference, but will also confirm DINP as a alternative, if the others are unobtainable. In the past, I just conceived that DINP wasn't as good as DOP; I'll keep my options open dependent on availability.

Speaking of DINP, I have a funny feeling that the SUnnylife inflates that came out toward the end of 2017, early 2018 had a large percentage of DINP in their PVC, which at the time I may have mistaken for DOP. I'm referring to the XL large translucent inflatable watermelons, the matellic pink swans, and the bananas that were in their product line. Unfortunately they were charging upwards of a AU$100 per item, which explains Sunnylife's quick fall into liquidation and bankrupcy.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
Here's some more info on phthalates and the 'Nanny State' REACH regulations:
https://www.plasticisers.org/regulation/reach/

The the high molecular weight phthalates, DINP, DPHP and DIDP, are not 'classified', which, I think, means that their appplications in consumer products are not as heavily restricted as the low moleular weight (and classified) phthalates DEHP, DIBP, DBP and BBP.

quote: "Regarding the non-classified phthalates, some of them are restricted only in very specific applications as it is the case for DINP and DIDP in toys and childcare articles which can be placed in the mouth. On January 2014, the European Commission published its conclusions regarding the re-evaluation of the restrictions on DINP and DIDP indicating that “no unacceptable risk has been characterised for the uses of DINP and DIDP in articles other than toys and childcare articles which can be placed in the mouth" unquote.
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Old 10-08-2022, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
Enthusiast; I think I'm hitting a hard brick wall with this. I did enquire with Gary from UK Rain Coats and Fetish Wear, and he pretty much confirmed my suspicions with DINP. He noted because DEHP has a shorter Chain Structure then DINP, it has a more fluid consistency, explaining it's softer feel. This is why I was so adamant with the DEHP preference. He noted that DINP is more stable then DEHP, but he has not yet elaborated on such.

In my reply, I asked if his mention about stabilization was either referring to a) the consistency of the blend from raw sheet to sheet, b) translucent colours smoking up after a wile, or c) if the plasticizers would break down after a certain time in storage, as in becoming brittle and seams becoming weak. I still have to hear back from him.

One thing Gary did recommend out of interest was to use 0.10mm PVC thickness, which in it self is rather thin, but then to make it air-tight by laminating it with another 0.10mm layer. So I'm interpreting this as two layers of the same PVC mix, one for the inflatable structure, and the other to strengthen the seams and points of vulnerability.

I've now hit up six sourcing places in Australia. Sourci in Melbourne don't deal with smaller projects, their operation went through a restructure last year, and only deal with certain e-commerce clients. Failing this I then rang Epic in New Zealand who have not replied, Hornet international sourcing said that they only access factories who conform to the REACH and Australian DEHP ban, David from Strategic Sourcing Australia seemed to have been a smaller outfit, thus didn't have as many contacts as the other ones I called, and now I'm trying to make contact with Global TQM Australia. I've arranged an appointment, and am awaiting their reply as I'm typing this, and I think the meeting window is almost finished (so much for being punctual and reliable). And the one I overlooked, another Melbourne mob that I'd been dealing with; we got pretty far into the project arrangements, until the factory didn't want to reveal their PVC plasticizer blend. The proprietor did emphasise that they did use soft stretchy PVC, but with so much money at hand, I didn't want to take his vague guarantee.

As far as Hornet International Sourcing, this was the last reply I received a few hours ago, honestly being the place I thought would have been most likely to assist, and them being local in Sydney, this was somewhat a hard punch in the stomach.




Hi Xxxxxx

Unfortunately we have not had any success in finding a suitable reputable manufacturer using the materials as required by you. The manufacturers we have been speaking to have advised that they manufacturer to European standards as follows:

There are Europe standard for 6 kinds of PHTHALATE (in simple "6P") : DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP and DNOP.

Common PVC: 6p may >0.1%

3P free PVC: DEHP, DBP, BBP<0.1% , the rest are permitted >0.1%

6P free PVC( may touch mouth) : DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP and DNOP <0.1%

Client requirement of DEHP based PVC but avoid DINP is inconsistent with above material standard. If DINP <0.1%, the material will be 6P free material, then the DEHP must be <0.1%. This would appear consistent with the Australian regulations also.

None of them are prepared to accept any variation on the above standards.

Unfortunately we are unable to assist you with this any further unless the material requirements can meet the standards put forward by the manufacturers.

Kind regards

Last edited by Big Thud Joe; 10-08-2022 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 10-08-2022, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
I've just gone through Alibaba and opened a line of enquire with Hongyi, asking them if they can access DEHP.
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Custom Inflaables - Accessing DEHP doped PVC
That's a bit of a downer, BigThudJoe.

If you are up for some 'DIY chemistry', you could possibly extract phthalates from vinyl medical gloves (for DINP, most likely), PVC raincoats or blood bags (for DEHP) using 99% isopropyl alcohol as the extraction solvent (I got the idea from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFZ5jQ0yuNA). I was thinking that it might be possible to apply the extracted phthalate to an inflatable to see what effect, if any, it would have on the inflatable's softness. The extracted phthalate, once all the 99% isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol; rubbing alcohol) solvent has been evaporated off, will have the appearance of a viscous oily liquid. Perhaps you could apply a very thin layer of the oily viscous phthalate to the surface of an inflatable, as a very thin layer (I'd advise apply the oily viscous phthalate liquid from the inside surface of the inflatable, through the inflation valves. This would avoid any potential damage to dyes/paint). Then, either leave the treated inflatable for days? or weeks? to allow the phthalate to absorb into the PVC. Maybe mild heating (which might be accomplished by leaving the inflatable in a sunny window, for example) would speed-up the absorption of the oily viscous phthalate into the PVC material?

Some ( https://alan7812.blogspot.com/2013/0...ew-chance.html ) have used the non-phthalate plasticiser, ATBC, to soften old inflatables that were suffering from brittleness due to loss of the phthalates over the years. If ATBC works, then I see no reason why the method would not work for DINP or DEHP.

If you don't want to go through the hassle of 'DIY Chemistry' to extract DINP or DEHP from vinyl gloves, etc, you could possibly source a small bottle of DINP or DEHP from a chemical supplier. I know of a chemical supplier based in Europe who might be able to help.

Last edited by PVC Vinyl Enthusiast; 10-08-2022 at 04:49 AM.
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