What are polyethylene tarpaulins?

Polyethylene tarpaulins or tarpaulins are lightweight, anti-wear plastic tarps with excellent wear-resistance, low-moisture and stain-resistance properties. This makes them a superior choice for many uses over traditional canvas tarps.

man cutting the grass

Many people are familiar with the bright blue polyethylene tarp with aluminum grommets in each corner. Eyelets are also placed at intervals along the edge so that the tarps can be tied with rope or secured with bungee cords. While blue is the most common color, they also come in other colors, including silver or gray, white, green, transparent, and black. Thickness or density also varies, as does size, and some polyethylene tarps are UV-treated to provide extended life in constant sunlight, while silver tarps deflect heat.

Polyethylene tarpaulins can be used for so many applications that the list is virtually inexhaustible. Owner uses range from covering firewood piles, grills, lawn equipment and boats; for camping, as a clean ground cover, shade cover or tent fly. Pool covers are also made of polyethylene, which is characterized by its ability to float.

Commercially, huge polyethylene tarps are used to cover tennis courts and baseball fields in the rain to keep the ground from getting too wet to play. They are also used to protect floors in gyms and basketball courts. Truck drivers use polyethylene tarps to cover trailers, pallets, hay and other payloads. Special heavy-duty insulated tarps have a polyester fill to keep out heat and cold.

Polyethylene is one of the most popular and versatile plastics in the world. Different types are used for varied applications, from branched or low density polyethylene, called LDPE, to linear polyethylene or HDPE. The former is much stronger than the latter, but low-density polyethylene is cheaper and easier to manufacture. Grocery bags, squeeze bottles, freezer bags, children’s toys, wire and cable insulation, tank linings and even bulletproof vests are some examples of items made from different densities and weaves of polyethylene.

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Mildew and rot resistant, tough and long lasting, whether you need something kept dry or protected from the weather, whether you need shade or protection, a polyethylene tarp will do the job!

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