We are frequently asked about what tarp is best suited for the job at hand – Polyethylene (PE) Polyvinyl (PVC) or even Canvas. We explain that it comes down to personal preference and also the application that the tarp is going to be used for. Canvas is made from 100% cotton, whilst Polyethylene is a lightweight, durable thermoplastic with a huge variety of uses due to its lightweight and durable characteristics.

The physical characteristics of a canvas tarp do lend themselves to a ground cover in particular outdoors, the natural fibers of a Canvas tarp result in a product being less slippery when wet. Having said that though the weight of the canvas tarp does detract from its practicality when using a large groundsheet.

Canvas Tarps are generally two and a half times heavier than an Extra Heavy Duty Tarp, so from an Occupational Health and Safety (OH & S) point of view there are advantages when using a Polyethylene Tarp. One thing that does need to be taken into consideration when looking to either a Polyethylene or Canvas Tarp is the weight. When buying a product, you should ask what the Grams per Square Meter of the product is or the GSM, the GSM will enable you to calculate the net weight of the tarp. The easiest way to calculate the weight of any Tarp is to multiply the dimensions and the GSM – this will give you a net weight of the product (excluding any drag handles and eyelets). For instance, the calculations a 30-meter x 15-meter tarp in PE and Canvas is noted below:

Polyethylene Tarp 290 GSM – 30 x 15 x 0.29 GSM – 130.5 Kg
Canvas Tarp 680 GSM – 30 x 15 x 0.68 gsm – 306 kg

This is something that you need to keep in mind to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your team.

In addition to the weight, a canvas tarp will be considerably more expensive than a PE Tarp cost variance of between 2 – 3 times that of a PE cover are not uncommon.

When using any form of tarp minimizing friction and sharp edges are paramount for the structural integrity of the tarp. It does not matter if you are using a PE, Canvas or PVC Tarp, if you expose the tarp to excessive friction and or sharp edges the tarp over a period, will fail.

A few people question the strength and waterproof characteristics of PE Tarps, the manufacturing process of ABC Tarps includes waterproof and Ultraviolet Light protection – the end result is a tarp that is very robust and stands the test of time and the elements.

For additional information or assistance at any stage with your PE or PVC Tarps and Covers please contact ABC Tarps –   1300 656 211 or via email info@abctarps.com.au.

Thank you for considering ABC Tarps.