Choosing a tarpaulin requires analyzing the specifications that are important to the application. Properties include water resistance, strength, corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance and various properties. Waterproofing is important for tarpaulins that must provide protection from rain and moisture. Different tarps offer varying degrees of protection, from little resistance to complete waterproofing. Strength is the ability of a tarp to hold together when stressed. The strength of the tarp will vary depending on the material and weave design.
Strength includes wind resistance, or the ability of a tarp to resist tearing or breaking in strong winds. Corrosion resistance determines the tarpaulin's ability to resist corrosion from UV rays and foreign substances. Tarps can use special coatings to provide resistance to different types of degradation. Abrasion resistance is a tarp's resistance to tearing and splitting at points and sharp edges. Canvas and vinyl tend to be more abrasion resistant than polyethylene.
Features include grommets, rope construction, special coatings and accessories. Grommets are plastic or metal eyelets in tarpaulins that help secure tie-downs. Cords are usually sewn and sealed to the edges of the tarpaulin to provide strength and enhanced tear resistance. Coatings include flame retardants and corrosion-resistant materials that provide different types of protection.
Some suppliers offer accessories with the tarp, including replacement grommets, mildew-resistant treatments, tarp tie-downs, and cords. When purchasing a tarp, one should understand the size and area requirements in order to provide the necessary coverage for the application.
Tarpaulins are used in a variety of applications and industries. Some products are used as hay tarps, wood tarps, boat tarps or truck tarps. Others are used as snow fences or tent canopies. They are also used in construction projects to cover bridges, buildings and water towers. For landscaping and lawn maintenance, tarps can be used to transport leaves or other yard waste around the yard.