Tyvek is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a
registered trademark of DuPont. It is often seen used as housewrap, a synthetic material used to
protect buildings during construction. The material is very strong; it is difficult to tear but can
easily be cut with scissors or a knife. Water vapor can pass through Tyvek, but liquid water cannot.
All of these properties make Tyvek useful in a variety of applications.
Properties: Light weight, Class 1 flammability rating, Chemical resistance, Dimensional stability,
Opacity, Neutral pH, Tear resistance and so on.
1. Large sheets of Tyvek are frequently used as "housewrap," to provide an air barrier between the
outer cladding of a structure and the frame, insulation, etc., allowing water vapor to pass yet
restricting air infiltration.
2. Tyvek is used by the United States Postal Service for some of its Priority Mail and Express Mail envelopes.
3. New Zealand used it for its driver's licenses from 1986 to 1999.
4. Costa Rica (solely their 1000 colones note bank), the Isle of Man, and Haiti have made banknotes
from it. These banknotes are no longer in circulation and have become collectors' items.
5. Increasingly, reused Tyvek material is being used by home crafters. Protective sleeves for Compact
Discs and DVDs, tote bags, and origami wallets also use Tyvek-containing materials.
6. Tyvek is also used as a durable fabric in shoes.
7. Tyvek is used in archery to construct waterproof target faces, replacing paper.
8. Tyvek is also extensively used for packaging in laboratory and medical equipment as the material
withstands conditions used to sterilize equipment.
9. Race bibs, or race numbers are often produced on Tyvek paper, so they are less likely to rip during competition.
10. Tyvek was used to cover and protect the Reaction Control System (RCS) thruster ports from
water and debris while the shuttle stack was exposed on the launchpad during the latter years of
the Space Shuttle program. The Tyvek covers were dislodged shortly after ignition and before the
shuttle cleared the tower, posing no strike risk as the shuttle was travelling below 100 MPH.
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