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Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is similar in structure to polyethylene, but each unit contains a chlorine atom. The chlorine atom renders it vulnerable to some solvents, but also makes it more chemically resistant in many applications. PVC has extremely good resistance to oils (except essential oils) and very low permeability to most gases.

Polyvinyl chloride is transparent and has a slight bluish tint. When blended with phthalate ester plasticizers, PVC becomes soft and pliable and can be extruded into flexible tubing. Without a plasticizer, you get a ridged PVC pipe instead. Due to concerns about potential health effects of phthalate plasticizers used in tubing intended for medical applications, new PVC formulations are becoming available formulated with non-phthalate plasticizers.

Nalgene PVC tubing products are intended for research laboratory purposes only; never for medical or medical device applications.

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PVC is used for making flexible laboratory tubing.

Popular products made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Clear PVC Tubing

Reinforced Tubing


Physical properties: Nalgene 180 Clear PVC Tubing

Temperature

Physics

Permeability

Sterilization[4]

Regulatory

HDT[1]: –32℃

Max Use[2]: 71℃

Brittleness[12]:

–32℃

Hardness[20]: Shore 55A

Excellent flexibility

Transparency: clear 

Specific gravity: 1.19

Microwave[13]: yes[19]

cc.-mil/ 100in2-24hr.-atm
N2: 8.3–33
O2: 16.7–100
CO2: 167–584

cc.-mm/ m2-24 hr.-Bar
N2: 3.2–13
O2: 2.6–39
CO2: 64.8–227

Autoclave: yes[14]

EtO: yes

Dry heat: no

Radiation: no

Disinfectants: some

Non-cytotoxic[6]: data not available

Suitable for food & bev use[7]: yes[11]

Regulation Part 21 CFR: 176.180 & 175.300

Physical properties: Nalgene 980 Reinforced PVC Tubing

Temperature

Physics

Permeability

Sterilization[4]

Regulatory

HDT[1]: –32℃

Max Use[2]: 82℃

Brittleness[12]:

–21℃

Hardness[20]: Shore 65A

Excellent flexibility

Transparency: clear with white braid

Specific gravity: 1.2

Microwave[13]: no

cc.-mil/ 100in2-24hr.-atm
N2: 8.3–33
O2: 16.7–100
CO2: 167–584

cc.-mm/ m2-24 hr.-Bar
N2: 3.2–13
O2: 2.6–39
CO2: 64.8–227

Autoclave: no

EtO: yes

Dry heat: no

Radiation: no

Disinfectants: some

Non-cytotoxic[6]: data not available

Suitable for food & bev use[7]: yes[11]

Regulation Part 21 CFR: 176.180 & 175.300


Chemical compatibility

The following table contains general use exposure ratings at 20oC. The ability of plastic materials to resist chemical attack and damage is dependent also on temperature, length of exposure to the chemical, and added stresses such as centrifugation. For more detailed chemical resistance ratings for Nalgene products and materials, please consult the resources referenced at the bottom of this page.

Class General rating
Acids, dilute or weak G
Acids*, strong and concentrated  F
Alcohols, aliphatic F
Aldehydes N
Bases/alkali F
Esters N
Hydrocarbons, aliphatic F
Hydrocarbons, aromatic N
Hydrocarbons, halogenated N
Ketones, aromatic N
Oxidizing agents, strong F

*Except for oxidizing acids; for oxidizing acids, see "Oxidizing agents, strong."

 E   30 days of constant exposure causes no damage. Plastic may even tolerate for years.
   Little or no damage after 30 days of constant exposure to the reagent.
   Some effect after 7 days of constant exposure to the reagent. Depending on the plastic, the effect may be crazing, cracking, loss of strength, or discoloration.
 N   Not recommended for continuous use. Immediate damage may occur including severe crazing, cracking, loss of strength, discoloration, deformation, dissolution, or permeation loss.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products

Application tips for Nalgene PVC products

Warning
Nalgene 180 and 980 PVC tubing is not intended for medical or medical device use. They contain DEHP [Bis(2-ethylhexyl)] phthalate, a commonly used plasticizer. It is known to the state of California Environmental Protection Agency that this chemical causes cancer or reproductive toxicity. 

Compliance
Materials used to make Nalgene PVC tubing are food grade and comply with USP Class VI regulations.

autoclaving

Autoclaving
Nalgene 180 PVC tubing can be autoclaved, but ethylene oxide or chemical disinfection is preferred. If you autoclave it, follow these guidelines:

Clean and rinse tubing thoroughly, including final rinse with distilled or deionized water. Coil tubing loosely and keep ends open. Wrap in muslin or linen: tape or tie loosely. Place on a non-metallic tray in the autoclave so wrapped tubing is not touching the wall or rack of the autoclave. Do not stack anything on the tubing. Use a 15 minute cycle at 121°C, 15 psig. The tubing will absorb minute amounts of water vapor and appear cloudy after autoclaving. Restore clarity of tubing by drying approximately 2 hours at a temperature no higher than 75°C.

Footnotes:
[1]. Heat Deflection Temperature is the temperature at which an injection molded bar deflects 0.1” when placed under 66 psig (ASTM D648) of pressure. Materials may be used above Heat Deflection Temperatures in non-stress applications; see Max. Use Temp.
[2]. Max. Use Temp. °C: this is related to the maximum continuous use temperature, ductile/brittle temperature and glass transition temperature, and represents the highest temperature at which the polymer can be exposed for the matter of minutes to 2 hours where there is little or no loss of strength.
[4]. STERILIZATION: Autoclaving (121°C, 15 psig for 20 minutes)—Clean and rinse items with distilled before autoclaving. (Always completely disengage thread before autoclaving.) Certain chemicals which have no appreciable effect on resins at room temperature may cause deterioration at autoclaving temperatures unless removed with distilled water beforehand.
     EtO Gas—Ethylene Oxide: 100% EtO, EtO:Nitrogen mixture, EtO:HCFC mixture
     Dry Heat—exposure to 160°C for 120 minutes without stress/load on the polymer parts
     Disinfectants—Benzalkonium chloride, formalin/formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, etc.
     Radiation—gamma or beta irradiation at 25 kGy (2.5 MRad) with unstabilized plastic
[6]. “Yes” indicates the resin has been determined to be non-cytotoxic, based on USP and ASTM biocompatibility testing standards utilizing an MEM elution technique with WI38 human diploid lung cell line.
[7]. Resins meet requirements of CFR21 section of Food Additives Amendment of the Federal Food and Drug Act. End users are responsible for validation of compliance for specific containers used in conjunction with their particular applications.
[11]. Acceptable for aqueous, oil, dairy, acidic, and alcoholic foods up to 71°C/160°F. 
[12]. The brittleness temperature is the temperature at which an item made from the resin may break or cracked if dropped. This is not the lowest use temperature if care is exercised in use and handling.
[13]. Ratings based on 5-minute tests using 600 watts of power on exposed, empty labware. CAUTION: Do not exceed Max. Use Temp., or expose labware to chemicals which heating cause to attack the plastic or be rapidly absorbed.
[14]. The tubing will become opaque from absorbed water, see the application tips section of this page for information on Autoclaving PVC Tubing.
[19]. If microwaved in the presence of water; the tubing will become opaque from absorbed moisture, see the current Thermo Scientific catalog information on Autoclaving PVC Tubing for details.
[20]. Hardness is a measure of the resistance to indentation/compression. There are multiple possible scales. Rockwell is typically used from more rigid/harder materials and Shore for softer/more flexible materials.

 

Technical support

Contact our support representative team by phone at +1-585-586-8800 or (1-800-625-4327 US toll free), or email your request to technicalsupport@thermofisher.com.

In Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom please contact technical support by phone at +800-1234-9696 (toll free) or +49-6184-90-6321, or email your request to techsupport.labproducts.eu@thermofisher.com.

Regulatory support: For regulatory documentation of product or material claims, please contact Nalgene regulatory support at RocRegSupport@thermofisher.com.

Resources

For chemical compatibility ratings by chemical, temperature, and length of exposure, use the  Nalgene General Labware Chemical Compatibility Guide 

For centrifugeware chemical compatibility ratings, please use ONLY the Centrifuge Ware Chemical Resistance
Table 

Request printed resources

  • Break the Glass Habit Brochure
  • Bottle and Carboy Selection Guide
  • Plastic Properties Reference Magnet
  • Plastic Labware Chemical Resistance Wall Poster

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