All We Need to Know About PE Tarpaulins and PVC tarpaulins


PE and PVC tarpaulin are widely used in the construction industry. In certain cold and snowy countries, temporary roofs or snow tarps—both made of PVC tarpaulin—are also used to lessen the effects of heavy snowfall on construction. For instance, PE tarpaulin can be used with scaffolding to ensure that workers are not affected by wind and rain, or it can be made into a fence cover to slow down temporary fence corrosion.

Read More: pvc tarpaulin

Given the prevalence of both materials in the industry, what distinguishes them from one another? How can I select the best materials for my project? I think you’ll find the solution in this blog.

First Part: Describe them.

1. PE Tarpaulin

PE tarpaulin is made by drawing a circle, weaving two sides of the film, and then coating the second layer with PE. The middle of the film is a strip of loosely woven polyethylene plastic.

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

The most common among them is HDPE, which is used as the base material to make PE tarpaulin. It has a density of 930 to 970 kg/m3, looks like a white powder or granular product, and is tasteless and non-toxic.


PE tarpaulin is highly electrically insulated, has minimal water absorption yet retains its flexibility at low temperatures, is resistant to most acids and bases, has good heat and cold resistance, good chemical stability, and is insoluble in any organic solvent at room temperature. Furthermore, PE tarpaulin is simple to store and transport, lightweight, hygienic, and non-polluting.


One drawback of pe tarpaulin is its ease of wear. Thermal oxidation will reduce its functionality and cause it to become brittle and easily aged. Because PE tarpaulin has a relatively low surface hardness, it is easily scratched and stressed. Also, it is not appropriate for continuous use in an open setting.


PE tarpaulin, also known as reinforced polyethylene sheeting, is used in a variety of ways. It can be used to make tents, cargo covers, garden bags, and other items. It can also be used to cover construction materials temporarily and shield temporary fences from the elements.

2. Plastic Sheeting

Using an impregnation technique, the PVC tarpaulin is composed of high-strength polyester canvas that has been coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) paste resin containing growth agents, anti-mildew, anti-aging, anti-static, and other chemical additives. The process involves a long dip coating, drying set, light pressure cooling, and rolling.

Furthermore, the raw material Comparing polyvinyl chloride to polyethylene, it is more transparent, glossy, and has a slight yellow tint.


A durable, reasonably priced material with good chemical resistance, mechanical strength, and hardness is polyvinyl chloride. Additionally, PVC has the benefits of being both good electrical insulation and naturally flame retardant (with a flame retardant value of 40 or higher).

High sturdiness and durability, resistance to water, mildew, cold, aging, and static electricity, as well as the ability to offer excellent weather protection, are the distinguishing features of pvc tarpaulin.

This popular international tarpaulin is made of PVC and has a bright colorful appearance with a special anti-slip surface treatment.


There is less natural light inside the building due to the poor transmittance of polyvinyl chloride tarpaulin. Additionally, it’s best to keep sharp objects from scratching pvc tarpaulin when using it as this will lessen its waterproof capacity.


PVC tarpaulin has a wide range of uses. For instance, the following:

often employed to protect boats.

to create an extensive range of tents.

Part 2: What makes them different?

1) Touch Technique

In most cases, you can feel the woven structure of PE tarpaulin.

PVC tarpaulin: the surface is similar to a layer of wax coated, and you can feel that the lubrication is relatively smooth.

2. Draw by Hand

PE tarpaulin: more flexible but less durable; it can break when stretched.

PVC tarpaulin: robust resilience, elongable and wide-stretching capabilities, low breakage rate.

3. The Shaking Technique

Shake the PE tarpaulin with your hands until it sounds brittle.

PVC tarpaulin: make a soft, hand-shake sound.

4) Burning Technique

When PE tarpaulin catches fire, it ignites; the flame burns yellow and contains oil droplets that resemble paraffin. and possess the aroma of a burning candle.

PVC tarpaulin due to the chlorine element; there is a strong, pungent odor; the flame is yellowish green when ignited, there is no oil dripping phenomenon, and it extinguishes itself after leaving the fire source.

5. Use of Water Immersion Technique

Put the two tarpaulins in the water and use your hand to press them down. The PE tarpaulin floats to the top, while the PVC tarpaulin sinks to the bottom of the water.

Section 3: How Do I Select Them?

1. The price and spending limit

We would advise purchasing the PE tarpaulins since they are typically less expensive than the PVC ones, as PVC fabric is typically more expensive at first. Of course, PVC is the better option if you need to use them for extended periods of time, all year round, or in cold climates. However, if you only need to use them occasionally and don’t have any special needs, PE tarpaulins are the most economical option.

2. Life of service

Tarpaulins made of PVC are strong and long-lasting, with a 10-year design. For a single use, pe tarpaulin lasts between one and two years.

PVC tarps are thicker and more durable, as you will discover if you hold both materials. This is due to the fact that PVC tarpaulins are more durable because they have a sturdy internal mesh fabric.

Therefore, a PE tarp is preferable if you use it infrequently; if you want something that will last longer or can be reused, go with a PVC tarp. Naturally, in addition to your spending limit, the quantity of the order, the cost, and other aspects to take into account before choosing.

3. Situations for Applications

When it comes to weather protection, winter protection, and overall resistance to environmental factors, PVC tarpaulins are more robust and durable than PE tarpaulins. In contrast, PE tarpaulins have a tendency to break easily in cold weather. Thus, PVC tarpaulin should be your first choice if it must be used in cold weather.

On the other hand, PE tarpaulins have superior light transmission over PVC tarpaulins, so if you want it to stay somewhat light, go for PE tarps.

There are numerous application scenarios that will influence your decision in addition to the ones mentioned above. Reaching out to us personally might be beneficial. To assist you in selecting the best tarpaulin for your projects, our professionals will provide you with expert advice.