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What are Heavy-Duty Tarps Made Of?


Tarpaulins, especially “heavy-duty” ones, are useful in several industrial, commercial, and residential applications. These “tarps” can cover and protect all types of equipment and items from external damage. From commercial vehicles to furniture items – tarps are used to shield all types of items. They can also be used as temporary room-dividers and tents.

Heavy-duty, premium-quality tarps always prevent external forces like moisture, sunlight, and wind from causing damage to goods and people. But, how are heavy duty tarps so sturdy and effective at keeping out outside threats? The common characteristics of these tarps are amazing –

  • These tarps are long-lasting; on average, they provide 10 to 12 years of service.
  • Premium-quality tarps offer high amounts of insulation. Severely low or high temperatures don’t impact the items they’re covering.
  • The amazing pliability of these tarps makes them usable in various scenarios. You can use them to set up temporary tents or shelters at campsites. You can also use them in industrial settings to protect important equipment.

How are these tarps so effective? It all comes down to the materials used to manufacture these protective tarps. Let’s review these materials to understand how they’re used to create super-sturdy tarps.

What are Tarps Made Of?

The two most common materials used to manufacture heavy-duty, premium-quality tarps are vinyl and PVC.

PVC Tarps

PVC or polyvinylchloride tarps are manufactured using high-density polyethylene sheets. These sheets are cross-woven with polyethylene sheets. They’re also coated with polyethylene sheets. These laminates and sheets give these tarps immense strength and durability. The central regions of these tarps are freely woven from polyethylene plastic strips. Polyethylene sheets are also bonded to the surface.

These sheets are typically made of two materials – high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Irrespective of what material is used to manufacture them, the sheets are always treated against UV (Ultraviolet) light. This extra treatment gives the tarps extra protection from sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight always degrade PVC tarps.

The extra UV-resistant coating prevents sunlight from forming fissures in the tarps and causing wear and tear. That’s why using UV-resistant tarps is advisable if your main goal is to protect your goods from sunlight damage. Scientists have recently created a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down polyethylene. If this technology succeeds, we’ll soon have PVC tarps that are 100% recyclable. Old tarps can then be repurposed into other PVC products.

Vinyl Tarps

Vinyl tarps are manufactured using polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and PVC laminates. High-strength PET strips are reinforced with PVC laminating coatings, which makes vinyl tarps super-resilient against destructive external elements. Vinyl tarps are widely used in industrial applications because they’re flame-retardant. These tarps help stop the spread of fire. Vinyl tarps also don’t shrink due to temperature changes.

Overall, vinyl tarps are more popular than their PVC counterparts because of these reasons. Both vinyl and PVC tarps are long-lasting products. But, since vinyl tarps are multi-layered, they’re more popular than their PVC counterparts. Both these tarps are safe buys. But, if you want to do what the markets are doing – opt for vinyl tarps.

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