Everything You Should Know About PVC and PE Tarpaulins


PE and PVC tarpaulin are commonly utilized during construction. PE tarpaulin, for instance, can be used with scaffolding to protect workers from wind and rain, or it can be formed into a fence cover to prevent temporary fence corrosion. In certain other cold, snowy countries, PVC tarpaulin is also used for snow tarps and temporary roofs, which lessen the effect of heavy snowfall on construction projects.

Read More: pvc tarpaulin manufacturers

Given that both materials are often used in industry, what distinguishes them from one another? How can I pick the materials that will work best for my project? I think the answer is here in this blog.

Part 1: Describe them.

1. PE Tarpaulin

PE tarpaulin is made by sketching a circular, weaving a double-sided film, and then coating it twice. In the middle is a loosely woven polyethylene plastic strip.

There are three types of polyethylene (PE): high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). Polyethylene is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer.

Of these, HDPE is the basic material used to make PE tarpaulin; it has a density ranging from 930 to 970 kg/m3, looks like white powder or granules, and is tasteless and non-toxic.


PE tarpaulin is resistant to most acids and bases, has a low water absorption rate that allows it to retain its flexibility in cold weather, strong chemical stability, good heat and cold resistance, and high electrical insulation. It is also insoluble in any organic solvent at room temperature. Furthermore, PE tarpaulin is lightweight, hygienic, non-polluting, and simple to store and transport.

The disadvantages

The fact that PE tarpaulin is simple to wear is a drawback. Its performance will deteriorate due to thermal oxidation, leaving it brittle and prone to aging. PE tarpaulin has a relatively poor surface hardness, which makes it susceptible to stress cracking and scratches. Additionally, it is unsuitable for continuous usage in an open setting.


Reinforced polyethylene sheeting, or PE tarpaulin, has a variety of uses. It can be used to cover construction materials temporarily, shield unfinished buildings from the elements, and cover temporary fences to prolong their useful life. It can also be fashioned into tents, cargo covers, garden bags, and other items.

2 PVC Tarpaulin

Using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) paste resin with growth agents, anti-mildew, anti-aging, anti-static, and other chemical additives, high-strength polyester canvas is used to make PVC tarpaulins. The impregnation process involves a long dip coating drying set followed by a light pressure cooling roll.

Additionally, the raw substance Compared to polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride is more clear, glossy, and has a little yellow tint.


One durable, reasonably priced material that is robust mechanically and has high chemical resistance is polyvinyl chloride. PVC also has the benefit of being naturally flame retardant and having a flame retardant rating of 40 or higher, in addition to being an excellent electrical insulator.

High levels of sturdiness, anti-static properties, water and mildew resistance, cold and age resistance, and weather protection are just a few of the attributes that make pvc tarpaulin stand out.

The PVC tarpaulin is a well-liked worldwide tarpaulin with a vivid, colorful look and a unique anti-slip surface treatment.

The disadvantages

The amount of natural light inside the structure is decreased by the polyvinyl chloride tarpaulin’s poor transmission. Additionally, it is preferable to prevent sharp things from damaging pvc tarpaulin since this may lessen the material’s ability to repel water.


There are several uses for PVC tarpaulin. like the following:

frequently employed to cover vessels.

to create a vast array of tents.

Part 2: How Do I Tell Them Apart?

1. Touch Technique

PE tarpaulin: in the majority of cases, you can feel the woven structure

PVC tarpaulin seems somewhat smooth to the touch, with a surface that resembles a coating of wax.

2. Pull with the Hand

PE tarpaulin is less durable yet softer, and its stretching can break.

PVC tarpaulin has great durability, is able to be spread out widely and long, and is not easily broken.

3 Shaking Technique

PE tarpaulin: make a brittle sound by shaking it with your hands.

PVC tarpaulin: make a low, rattling sound with your hands.

4 Burning Technique

When PE tarpaulin comes into contact with fire, it ignites; the flame is yellow and resembles droplets of paraffinic oil. and smell like they’re burning candles.

Due to the chlorine ingredient, PVC tarpaulin will extinguish after being removed from the fire source, have a strong, pungent stench, and ignite with a yellowish-green flame without any oil pouring.

5. Immersion Method in Water

Press the two tarpaulins into the water with your hand after submerging them in it. The PVC tarpaulin sinks to the bottom of the water, while the PE tarpaulin floats to the top.

Section 3: How Do I Pick Them?

1. The price and spending plan

Since PE tarpaulins are often less expensive than PVC tarpaulins, we would advise purchasing them. PVC fabric is typically more expensive at first. Naturally, you should choose PVC tarpaulins if you need them for a long-term or even year-round solution or to use them in cold climates. However, if you only need to use them occasionally and don’t have any special requirements, PE tarpaulins are the most economical option.

2. Duration of service

Tarpaulins made of PVC are strong and made to last for ten years. Pe tarpaulin, on the other hand, only lasts one to two years.

PVC tarps are thicker and more durable than other materials, as you will discover when you grasp both. This is because PVC tarpaulins are more durable due to their strong interior mesh fabric.

Consequently, a PE tarp is preferable if you use it infrequently; if you want a tarp that can be reused or last longer, go for a PVC one. Of course, you should also take into account your budget, the size of the order, the cost, and other aspects before deciding.

3. Case Studies for Applications

PVC tarpaulins are more robust and durable than PE tarpaulins, offering superior weather protection, winter protection, and resilience to environmental factors. PE tarpaulins, on the other hand, have a tendency to break easily in cold weather. Therefore, PVC tarpaulin is the material of choice if it must be used in cold weather.

However, PE tarpaulins transmit light more than PVC tarpaulins, so if you want it to stay somewhat bright, go with PE tarpaulins.

Numerous application cases exist in addition to the ones mentioned above, and they will influence your decision. Getting in touch with us directly could be beneficial. You may pick the best tarpaulin for your projects with the experienced assistance of our professionals.