A tarpaulin or tarp, is a large sheet of strong, flexible, water-resistant or waterproof material, often cloth such as canvas or polyester coated with polyurethane, or made of plastics such as polyethylene. Tarpaulins often have reinforced grommets at the corners and along the sides to form attachment points for rope, allowing them to be tied down or suspended.
Inexpensive modern tarpaulins are made from woven polyethylene; this material is so associated with tarpaulins that it has become colloquially known in some quarters as polytarp.
Features of tarpaulin:
Resistance is important for tarpaulins that must provide protection from rain and moisture. Different tarps provides varying levels of protection, from little resistance to completely waterproof.
Strength is a tarpaulin’s ability to hold together when subject to forces. A tarp’s strength changes based on material and the weaving design. Strength includes wind resistance, or a tarp’s ability to resist tearing or breakage from high winds.
Corrosion resistance determines how well a tarpaulin resists corrosion from UV light and foreign materials such as oils, acids, greases, and mildew. Special coatings can be applied to tarps to provide resistance to different types of degradation.
Abrasion resistance is a tarpaulin’s resistance to tearing and splitting due to points and sharp edges. Canvas and vinyl tend to be more abrasive resistant than polyethylene materials.
Features include grommets, rope construction, special coatings, and accessories. Grommets are plastic or metal eyelets in tarpaulins used to help secure tie-downs. Ropes are often sewn and sealed to tarpaulin borders to provide strength and enhanced tear resistance. Coatings include flame-retardants and corrosion resistant materials that provide different types of protection.
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