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What is tarpaulin?

Release time:

2020-02-02 14:31

A tarpaulin, also known as a tarp, is typically composed of a single piece of strong, flexible, high-break strength base fabric and synthetic coating materials. Tarpaulins can be classified based on material types, such as canvas, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), thermoplastic olefin (TPO), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These materials are waterproof, resistant to UV radiation, tear-resistant, anti-aging, and anti-mildew. is a versatile tarpaulin fabric material known for its durability and protective properties. There are lamination and knife coated for producing tarpaulins. Various sizes, thicknesses, colors, and properties are available during production to meet different applications and requirements.


Tarpaulin material type
PE tarpaulin
PE tarpaulin, also known as polyethylene tarpaulin, is a popular type of tarpaulin mainly made of polyethylene (PE) plastic. The center is woven from polyethylene plastic and the surface is laminated with sheets of the same material. The polyethylene material used in its construction is naturally impermeable, ensuring that covered items stay dry and protected. Many PE tarps are treated with UV inhibitors, making them resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. This helps prevent the tarp fabric from degrading and discoloring over time, extending its life and maintaining its appearance. PE tarps are widely used in a variety of outdoor applications because they are lightweight, durable, and tear-resistant.


PVC tarpaulin
Suitable for heavy-duty use, a PVC tarpaulin is a type of tarp made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This makes the tarpaulin very waterproof, with high abrasion resistance and tear strength. PVC is a synthetic plastic polymer known for its durability, versatility, and weather resistance. PVC tarpaulins are widely used in outdoor applications due to their excellent waterproof properties, UV resistance, and strength. They are commonly used in construction, agriculture, industry, transportation, and recreational activities that require reliable protection.


Canvas tarpaulin
One of the advantages of canvas tarpaulins is their breathability, which helps prevent moisture from collecting underneath and reduces the risk of mold or mildew. Therefore, although canvas tarpaulins have waterproof properties, they are not 100% waterproof. The canvas material used in these tarpaulins is usually made from a blend of cotton or polyester fibers that provide strength and tear resistance. Canvas tarpaulins are more environmentally friendly than synthetic materials like polyethylene. Canvas tarps are commonly used to cover and protect outdoor items such as machinery, vehicles, firewood, and building materials from weather elements such as rain, wind, and sunlight. They are also used on construction sites, farming, camping, and as temporary shelter or ground cover. Canvas tarpaulins require regular cleaning and drying to prevent mold growth and extend their lifespan.


TPO tarpaulin
“TPO” stands for “thermoplastic polyolefin”, which is a kind of environmentally friendly material with extremely high environmental performance. To solve the environmental impact of PVC tarpaulin, our new solution is to replace PVC with TPO. This material is identical in performance to PVC tarpaulin, and TPO tarpaulin fabric is ideal for making granary covers and storing human drinking water. It can be 100% degraded within the next ten years or can be recycled multiple times to make car fenders, shelves, car floor mats, etc. without any degradation in performance.


Tarpaulin production process
Tarpaulins are made by weaving or knitting synthetic fibers together to form a durable base fabric. The base fabric can then be coated or laminated with additional materials to enhance the performance characteristics of the tarpaulin. The tarpaulin production process involves multiple steps, including material selection, manufacturing, coating or lamination, and finishing and packaging. Specific manufacturing techniques vary depending on the type of tarpaulin being produced and the desired properties of the final product. The following is an overview of a typical production process:


Material selection:
The first step in tarpaulin production is selecting the appropriate material based on the type of tarp the customer needs, the intended application, and performance requirements. Commonly used materials for tarpaulins include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Each of these materials has pros and cons. They all offer durability, flexibility, water resistance, and UV resistance, but to varying degrees. Currently, FLFX tarpaulin manufacturer only produces PVC coated tarpaulin material, which is also the most popular tarp material on the market.

Material preparation:
Once the tarpaulin type is selected, we will process it into a tear-resistant base fabric by weaving and knitting it. With woven tarpaulins, synthetic fibers are woven together on a loom to create a strong, durable fabric. Knitted tarpaulins are produced using knitting machines that interlock yarns to create a flexible and stretchable fabric. The extrusion process is used to melt PVC resin at high temperatures and extrude it through a calendar machine to form a continuous PVC film sheet that is subsequently used to produce PVC laminated tarpaulins. Or melt additives and PVC resin at high temperature for knife coating.

Coating or laminating:
At present, PVC tarpaulins are produced in knife coating production and lamination production. Knife coating mainly applies PVC resin layer by layer on the base fabric, and then cools it through high temperature to form a PVC tarpaulin. Lamination mainly involves laminating 2 to 8 layers of PVC film sheets and base fabric together at high temperatures to make a PVC tarpaulin. These PVCs mainly provide waterproofing, UV resistance, abrasion resistance, and color stability to the tarpaulin. Thereby increasing the service life of the tarpaulin.

Cutting and seaming:
After the tarpaulin fabric is coated and laminated, it is cut to the desired size and shape using a cutter or hand-cutting tool. The edges of a tarp can be reinforced with hems or bonding to prevent fraying and add strength. Seams are created by joining multiple tarpaulin fabrics together using heat sealing, welding, or sewing techniques. Vinyl tarps can be welded with high frequency, hot air, or ultrasonic welding, while PE or PP tarps are usually heat-sealed or sewn.

Finishing and quality control:
After cutting and seaming, the finished tarp undergoes quality control inspections to ensure that its size, strength, waterproofing and appearance meet specified standards. Any flaws or deficiencies are identified and addressed before the vinyl tarp is packed and shipped to the customer. Optional finishing treatments such as grommets, rope reinforcements, or surface coatings can be applied as needed to enhance the functionality and durability of the tarp.