Ethylene vinyl acetate, or better known as EVA plastic, is a thermoplastic elastomer polymer composed of ethylene and vinyl acetate. It is called EVA because its technical name is ethylene-vinyl-acetate. The percentage weight of vinyl acetate is usually between 10%-40% with ethylene making up the remainder. Although sometimes the percentage can vary up to 75%. This material is similar to elastomers in its softness and flexibility, but can be processed in the same way as thermoplastics. It can be combined with any product. It does not replace any material, but complements it.
Properties of EVA plastic
- EVA material is resistant to low temperatures and stress-cracking (environmental stress cracking).
- Lightweight and very porous plastic material, which can be found in blocks or semi-flexible sheets of very high density.
- It has low water absorption.
- It is washable and easy to glue, paint and cut.
- It is non-toxic and lightweight.
- Depending on its intended use, it has various qualities, since it is not the same as a material for footwear as it is for industrial use.
Applications and uses
Ethylene-vinyl acetate is used in different areas: it is used as a material for handicrafts as it can be easily painted and glued to other materials such as glitter, for example. In fact, it can be found in craft shops or stationery stores. It is also used in the shoe industry for insoles or even in orthopaedic prostheses to line them. It is also used for padding or lining objects because of its flexibility, sponginess and softness, such as martial arts flooring or playgrounds. It is also used in biomedical engineering as a drug delivery device.
Recycling of EVA plastic
This material is recyclable like other thermoplastics. Its recycling is environmentally friendly and helps companies to control and reduce production costs. The recycling rate of this material is very low and few companies are involved. Recycling is necessary to avoid contamination.